Thursday, September 27, 2012

Target Lancer -- Max Allan Collins

I'm pretty sure Nate Heller knows every major player and has been involved with every major crime in the 20th century.  This time he's mixed up in an attempt to assassinate John F. Kennedy.  No, not that attempt.  The one in Chicago (as you can see on the jacket to the left).  Maybe you didn't know there was an assassination attempt in Chicago.  Not much has been written about it, but you can bet that Collins and his associate George Hagenauer researched it just as meticulously as they've researched all his other novels.  

It's fascinating stuff, and it's interesting how certain characters show up.  Jack Ruby, for one.  Lee Harvey Oswald for another.  They really were in Chicago when Kennedy was supposed to be in a parade there.  Even the fictional characters are based on people who where really there, and a lot of the story happened pretty much as it plays out in the novel, as Collins explains in his afterword.  You might not be much of a believer in conspiracies, but don't be surprised if you change your mind after reading this novel.  

The story moves fast, it has a great cast of characters, and it's entirely believable.   Another fine addition to the Heller series, and one that has me eager to read what comes next, since the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy lie ahead.  You can bet that Heller will have a part to play in the investigations of those two crimes and that Collins' take on them will be as fresh and surprising as this one.

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