This novel is based on the infamous 1947 murder of Hollywood hopeful Elizabeth Short, known forever as "The Black Dahlia." In Los Angeles on his honeymoon, Chicago private eye Nathan Heller knew Elizabeth, but revealing their relationship will only mark him as a suspect. His investigation begins with her crazed call to him just days before her ...
This novel is based on the infamous 1947 murder of Hollywood hopeful Elizabeth Short, known forever as "The Black Dahlia." In Los Angeles on his honeymoon, Chicago private eye Nathan Heller knew Elizabeth, but revealing their relationship will only mark him as a suspect. His investigation begins with her crazed call to him just days before her death, and her bizarre links to Orson Welles, Eliot Ness, and Mickey Cohen.
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Publishers Weekly, 2001-02-26 The 1947 Black Dahlia case provides the basis for Shamus Award winner Collins's latest intriguing blend of fiction and real-life mystery featuring his well-connected Chicago P.I., Nathan Heller (Majic Man; Flying Blind). Newly married and in L.A. to publicize his partnership with a California-based P.I., Heller and a reporter are the first to discover the severed, mutilated body of Elizabeth Short. It just so happens Heller knew her they'd dated briefly in Chicago and she'd called just the night before, claiming she was pregnant. If made public, this connection would not only threaten Heller's marriage and business but make him a suspect. The authorities are treating this as a sex crime, but Heller thinks the mob is sending a message to informers. The case also recalls the grisly Kingsbury Run murders (which Collins explored in his 1988 Eliot Ness novel, Butcher's Dozen). In his quest to catch the killer, Heller brings in Ness and hobnobs with gangsters and movie stars, including Orson Welles, who hints at his own possible involvement. The characters, historical and fictional, come delightfully to life; the victim, too, turns out to be tragically complex, at once deceitful, na?ve and endearing. Collins paints a web of interconnections in a tightly woven plot and posits a radical solution to a crime that still resonates in literature and movies. (Mar. 6) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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