From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
For all the voluminous research that has been conducted concerning what really happened on November 22, 1963, there has been virtually no attention paid to the failed assassination attempt of JFK in Chicago on November 2. Leave it to the indefatigable Collins, whose Nathan Heller novels have posited credible alternative theories on the Lindbergh kidnapping, the death of Marilyn Monroe, and numerous other headline-grabbing crimes, to seize on the Chicago story. Naturally, Chicago PI Heller lands in the middle of the action, recruited by the FBI to investigate the chatter surrounding Kennedy's planned visit and a publicized parade through the Loop in early November. The trip was canceled at the last minute but not before, in Collins' telling, assassins were in place in a building much like the Texas School Book Depository, and an Oswald-like patsy was in position to take the fall. Basing much of his story on the historical record, Collins spins a fascinating tale, with appearances by Jack Ruby (an old West Side acquaintance of Heller's), Jimmy Hoffa, and Bobby Kennedy, among others. Gripping from the get-go, this will satisfy both Heller fans and assassination wonks ever eager for a new spin on the story.--Ott, Bill Copyright 2010 Booklist
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Having unraveled the truth behind Marilyn Monroe's death in 2011's Bye Bye, Baby, Nate Heller now looks into JFK's assassination in Collins's suspenseful 14th novel featuring the detective dubbed by Life magazine the "Private Eye to the Stars." In October 1963, a press agent friend asks Nate to accompany him to a Chicago club to help deliver an envelope full of cash to "a guy named Jake." Jake turns out to be someone Nate knows-the mob-connected Jake Rubinstein, who runs strip clubs in Dallas under the name Jack Ruby. Ruby suggests that Nate has been assigned to keep tabs on him by the conspirators behind Operation Mongoose, the CIA-sponsored effort to take out Fidel Castro with the Mafia's help. Soon, rumors of an upcoming hit on the president gain substance. Collins has not only devised an original take on what may well be the most-written-about crime in history but also made Heller's role in the case plausible. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
It's late October 1963, and there is a conspiracy at work to assassinate JFK. Except in Collins's (Bye, Bye Baby) latest Nate Heller novel the plot is set in Chicago, not Dallas. Nate's old PR man, Tom Ellison, has turned up dead shortly after Nate spent an evening watching Tom's back. Nate spotted Jack Ruby that evening and so wonders whether Ellison's death may have connections to the mob or to Operation Mongoose, the CIA-backed plot run by the Mafia to poison Castro. Then Nate is summoned to a secret meeting with Bobby Kennedy, who asks him to help the Secret Service as they investigate a conspiracy by snipers to assassinate the President as his motorcade travels through town. Collins has done his homework, as the Chicago plot was real, as are nearly all the characters other than Nate. VERDICT Fans of hard-boiled detective novels will be joined by the myriad readers still awaiting more on Kennedy's assassination, and neither group will be disappointed. This one delivers the goods all around. [For other fictional takes on JFK's assassination almost 50 years ago, see also Stephen King's 11/22/63 and Stephen Hunter's The Third Bullet-Ed.]-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Lib., Wisconsin Rapids (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.