Presidential candidate - and force of nature - Huey Long, the “Kingfish,” is in fear for his life. After Nathan Heller delivers the former Louisiana governor a bulletproof vest, the Kingfish hires the Chicago private eye to investigate death threats from political rivals. Soon Heller runs head-on into an IRS investigation seeking millions skimmed from state workers for Huey’s “de-duct box”... and into the arms of the ex-governor’s lovely ex-mistress.
When the charismatic politician is shot down by a seemingly crazed doctor, Heller gets a new employer - the insurance agency fighting a double-indemnity claim from Long’s widow. Was the Kingfish truly the victim of assassination, or accidentally killed by his own bodyguards? A classic P.I. thriller built on historical fact, Max Allan Collins’ Blood and Thunder showcases Huey Long in all his gaudy glory, while delving deep into the heart of the deadliest swamps of Louisiana’s mob-infested politics.
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©2012 Max Allan Collins (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“Collins’s sense of place and time is unerringly acute, and he happily indulges in recreating Long’s fiery stump style. Although Collins has carved out a mystery subgenre that he occupies nearly alone, he and his detective would be a tough act to follow.” (Publisher’s Weekly)
I know, I know.....I've said a kazillion times how much I really like this series. But there are quite a few of them and I keep buying them. As I've said before, these books are only as interesting as the life of the real historic figure chosen by Max Allan Collins to insinuate his "film noir" gumshoe in the middle of. No one can deny that former Louisiana Governor and US Senator was a bigger-than-life personality. As usual, P.I. Heller is in the thick of things during Long's assassination and the subsequent investigation. What I particularly like about Collins' approach is that he presents an alternate motive or ending to the actual event that's believable. The story is well-researched with great dialogue. Narrator Dan John Miller gives the irreverent, womanizing Heller an "aw-shucks" boyish charm that I have yet to become weary of. Start at Book 1 of the series - grow and "grow up" with the most personable shamus since Raymond Chandler's "Philip Marlowe", Dashiell Hammett's "Sam Spade", and Mickey Spillane's "Mike Hammer".
I would recommend the entire series of Nate Heller books to anyone. These are the most engrossing Mystorical dramas I have ever read. The mysteries are both intricate and fairly presented. The historical characters are enlivened. I can't count the number of times I have Googled a character's name to find out more about him or her. And best of all, Nate Heller "interacts" in some surprising ways with more real people than anyone could hope for. Even the least of this series, and I don't know which one that might have been, is good reading.
My reaction to the ending was "Where's the next book."
Huey was fun but there are so many great people in this book that picking only one is hard.
I was moved by Nate's interview with Huey Long's wife.
Read them...Read them all!
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