RARA-AVIS: Max Allins Collins, Stolen Away

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 19 Jun 2004

I just got around to reading STOLEN AWAY (1991), a Nate Heller story, where Nate--first a Chicago policeman, later a private eye--is asked to help out on the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case. I had no idea the kidnapping was so badly handled, or that it involved Al Capone (and many other Chi gangsters); the father of General Norman Schwarzkopf; Edgar Cayce; the woman who owned the Hope diamond; and even Jack Benny, who watched the Bruno Hauptmann trial.

It's 600 pages long, which is too long, but Collins had a lot to cover and he made it all pretty clear. Heller is on the case just after the kidnapping and then comes back a couple of years later to try to clear Hauptmann. Heller ends up solving the case, and I have no idea if his theory is at all likely, but it's certainly interesting.

In all the discussion we've had about these Heller books I never noticed that people mentioned the true crime aspect, but this one had it in spades. I don't read true crime, but I liked the book, and I'm going to take the recommendation of Mr. Niebuhr and others and go back and read the first ones. Chicago's got a lot of lively history I'd like to learn more about.

Canadian TV viewers may notice that in some pictures Max Allan Collins bears a resemblance to Bubbles from TRAILER PARK BOYS. Compare:

http://www.showcase.ca/trailerparkboys/images/features/p_blowing_bubbles_1.jpg http://www.maxallancollins.com/Max/max.gif


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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