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Neon Mirage [Hardcover]

Max Allan Collins
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb 1988
Chicago, 1946. Gambling chief James Ragen is shot right before the eyes of the man hired to protect him: A-1 Detective Agency's Nate Heller. Which mob boss hungry for Ragen's gambling action has made a fool of Heller: cold-blooded Capone heir Jake "Greasy Thumb" Guzik or hotheaded, movie star-handsome Bugsy Siegel? The answer's not in the mean streets of Chicago, because the city's mob wars have moved west, to the glitz of Hollywood and the fabulous-and illicit-potential of a shabby little desert way station they call Las Vegas(.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr; 1 edition (Feb 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312014848
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312014841
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,589,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Max Allan Collins has earned fifteen Private Eye Writers of America "Shamus" nominations, winning for his Nathan Heller novels, True Detective and Stolen Away, and receiving the PWA life achievement award, the Eye. His graphic novel, Road to Perdition, which is the basis of the Academy Award-winning film starring Tom Hanks, was followed by two novels, Road to Purgatory and Road to Paradise. His suspense series include Quarry, Nolan, Mallory, and Eliot Ness, and his numerous comics credits include the syndicated Dick Tracy and his own Ms. Tree. He has written and directed five feature films and two documentaries, including "The Expert," a HBO World Premiere. His coffee-table book The History of Mystery received nominations for every major mystery award and Men’s Adventure Magazines won the Anthony Award. Collins lives in Muscatine, Iowa, with his wife, writer Barbara Collins. They have collaborated on seven novels and numerous short stories, and are currently writing the “Trash ‘n’ Treasures” mysteries. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 12 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
he's a tough guy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars MAC's usual standard 23 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
You got to read all the Nathan Heller novels, you really do. This is where Bugsy Siegel comes alive and Las Vegas grows out of the desert. MAC's usual ear for dialogue, eye for detail, nose for historical verisimilitude, mind for accurate research... top stuff. Just top.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good 27 Jan 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm working my way through all the Nate Heller novels and so far not one dud. I do like the way Max Allan Colins interweaves a fictional account in a factual backdrop, no one does it better. If you like Dashiel Hammett or Raymond Chandler these are the books or you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'd appreciate your help! 25 Mar 2012
By Rhouse - Published on
I'm a huge fan of Max Collins, specifically his Chicago PI Nate Heller. And I'm not even a huge detective novel guy!

I've followed the character Nate Heller from 1930s Chicago to 1960s Hollywood...and never doubted for a minute that Collins' characters WEREN'T involved in the crimes he has investigated. The work is THAT good! For me, it's all about the historical facts presented in a remarkably readable way.

In Neon Mirage, the reader follows the beginnings of early Las Vegas. The mobsters, the movie stars, the politicians are all there--fleshed out and totally believable. If you're at all interested in the FACTUAL history of the mob or how Bugsy Segal turned the desert into America's 'sin city', I highly recommend Neon Mirage. It--like ALL of Collins books-- is a great way to study history, while immersed in a great detective novel. When you finish, you realize, "Hey, I didn't know THAT!!"

Here's the reason for the title of this review:I've gone through all Collins' Nate Heller books, and I wish I COULD find another writer who can weave history with fiction as well as Collins does. Each time I read a Nate Heller book, I've not only been thoroughly entertained, I've come away with so much factual information! If any of you has a favorite author/series/character that does that for you--would you be kind enough to add a comment pointing me in the right direction?

Meanwhile, grab a copy of Neon Mirage. Or, better yet, start with "True Crime" or one of the earlier Nate Heller books...and work your way through the series. If you're a history buff, you'll like them for the information. If you're a mystery/detective buff, I think you'll be happy to meet Nate Heller!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What happens in Vegas.... 5 July 2006
By Daniel Lee Taylor - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the story of how a sleepy little town in Nevada became a mecca for gamblers and other sinful types. It is also the story of Bugsy Siegal, a want to be movie star and mobster. The story is told as the investigation by Nate Heller of a murder back in Chicago. Needless to say, there is a lot of history told here but never a lecture. Collins is one of the greatest in this kind of storytelling. Read the notes at the end of the book to find how much is fact, a whole lot, and what is created for the tale. If you ever heard of a town called Las Vegas, read how it got its start. Truly fascinating, you won't put it down.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nate Heller meets Bugsy Siegal 1 Jan 2013
By Jim Lester - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is another excellent entry in Max Allen Collins' Nate Heller series. The first half of the book is about a 1940s mobster hit in Chicago but the second half, and for my money, the best part of the novel is an interesting portrait of the mobster, Bugsy Siegal and the building of the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas in 1947.

Collins throws in a whodunit plot line, which is fun but still plays second fiddle to the portrait of Siegal. The mob history remains the central focus and, as usual, Nate Heller acts as more of a witness to history than a classic private eye. It all adds up to an enjoyable read that made me want to read more about the history of Las Vegas. And read more Nate Heller novels.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but I'm disappointed... 27 Jan 2012
By D. Hurd - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I liked the story, just like I liked all the other Nate Heller novels. What's disappointing to me is the physical book itself. I first got introduced to Nate Heller when I wandered into a bookstore where Max Collins happened to be signing. Since he's from a town about 10 miles from my hometown and my mom knew his dad, I thought what the heck. The book was Carnal Hours, and I loved it. I've bought every Nate Heller book since. Unfortunately, the first four books were out of print when I realized I wanted them. I managed to get ahold of all but this one until now. Boy was I happy when I ordered it. And then the big disappointment - it's a weird size and doesn't fit in with the rest of my set. I had no way of knowing that when I ordered. So get the book if you want a good read, but be aware that it's not going to fit on your shelf with your other Heller books.
4.0 out of 5 stars but I'm a huge Max Allan Collins fan and know I will enjoy finishing it 8 July 2014
By john ponchak - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm actually only part way through the ebook, but I'm a huge Max Allan Collins fan and know I will enjoy finishing it.
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