Re: RARA-AVIS: Max Allins Collins, Stolen Away

From: William Denton (
Date: 20 Jun 2004

On 20 June 2004, JIM DOHERTY wrote:

: My one criticism of them is this. Collins seems to go out of his way to
: have Heller discover solutions at odds with the prevailing theories or
: the historical record. I don't doubt that he actually believes the
: theories he forms, but, perhaps unconsciously, he has an agenda. Since
: he's sending out his fictional sleuth to investigate an actual crime,
: he's almost GOT to have his character find a solution that contradicts
: conventional wisdom in order to make for a more interesting novel.

That's a good point. In the one about Amelia Earhart he doesn't have that problem, since it's all a complete mystery (as far as I know). I think in MAJIC MAN Heller goes down to Roswell and finds out about UFOs, so Collins must have free reign there. It could get very dull if Heller worked on a case and we just got a slightly fictionalized retelling, but he can't go around upsetting every major case around.

: One of the real-life Chicago-area cops who did just that in the actual
: case was Chief Investigator Pat Roche, of the Cook County State's
: Attorney's Office. Roche, by the way, under his own name, is the hero
: of one of Howard Browne's best novels, PORK CITY, which fictionalizes
: the murder of Chicago TRIBUNE reporter Jake Lingle (a murder that, in
: Collins's series, has a profound effect on Heller's career).

You've mentioned this one before, and I'm going to look for it. I really like Howard Browne.

I'll keep an eye peeled for Collins's Eliot Ness books and other stuff. I looked for him in a couple of bookstores today and all they had was a shelf full of CSI TV show tie-ins.


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : : Caveat lector.

-- # Plain ASCII text only, please. Anything else won't show up. # To unsubscribe from the regular list, say "unsubscribe rara-avis" to # This will not work for the digest version. # The web pages for the list are at .

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 20 Jun 2004 EDT