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Publisher's Summary

1934 Chicago dazzles with fast action and calculating, cold-blooded meanness as private detective Nate Heller combs Chicago’s North Side looking for John Dillinger. But things take a turn for the strange when self-aggrandizing G-Man Melvin Purvis shoots down a Dillinger double in front of the Biograph Theater. Full of muscle and oozing Chicago’s tough-guy persona to the hilt, Max Allan Collins’ Nate Heller is the ultimate private investigator - in the ultimate P.I. town. Heller’s undercover search for a farmer’s-daughter-turned-gun-moll has him on the dusty Depression backroads of middle America, in the company of Ma Barker and her boys, Baby Face Nelson, Alvin Karpis, and a very-much-still-alive Dillinger - whose outlandish plan to kidnap J. Edgar Hoover in downtown Chicago is one Heller tries to foil. Including appearances by fan dancer Sally Rand, boxer Barney Ross, and Heller's “godfather,” Frank Nitti, True Crime is a relentless classic.

©1986 Max Allan Collins (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Fiction and historical fiction, a great read.

The author obviously did a lot of research about the gangster era in the Midwest in the 1930's, and cleverly weaves P.I. Nate Heller into a succession of actual characters and historical events. The gangsters in the story, Frank Nitti, John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, the Barker brothers, Alvin Karpis, really existed and did the things related, as well as the federal agents Cowley & Purvis. Other characters, the Lady in Red, Anna Sage, and Dillinger's girl Polly Hamilton, were certainly at the Biograph Theatre shootout. Other colorful characters are Nate's friends, prizefighter Barney Ross and stripper Sally Rand. The author works Nate into this milieu in a very natural way. Nate espouses a theory about the demise of John Dillinger that has been put forth by author Jay Robert Nash, "The Dillinger Dossier," which is further elaborated on in the epilogue.

The narration by Dan Jay Miller was very good but not exceptional. I felt his attempts to portray female voices were not always appropriate, especially that of Sally Rand.

Regardless of the history, it is very well-written and engaging, offering a different type of mystery. I look forward to reading others in the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • Carrollton, TX, United States
  • 08-13-12

Great Detective story.

Takes you back to the nineteen thirty's.
Makes you feel like you are actually there.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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True Crime: Nathan Heller Series Book 2

Neat gumshoe detective story. Well written with historical characters I liked and it keep me listening way past my bedtime. Can't beat the price for a really well narrated, everything it's suppose to be detective story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Inside Story of Mob Life - Part 2

Historical Fiction. This sequel is every bit as good as the first book in the Nathan Heller series. It continues the story of this fictional detective's inside story of mob life in Chicago in the early and mid 20th century.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Get Dillinger

Admittedly, I read the second of Max Allan Collins wonderful Nathan Heller series out of order. Shame on me, but knowing just a bit about it from book 3 took nothing away from the pure enjoyment of listening to this great yarn. Once again, Nate is wrapped up to his eyeballs with the Chicago mob, the FBI, and the crime spree of the late twenties. This time, besides Frank Nitti, throw in Baby Faced Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, the Barker Gang, and the titled John Dillinger. What fun as a listener to relive history, sort of, Collins stye. I am now an unabashed fan of Nate Heller and Dan John Miller as the narrator of the series. He is now firmly entrenched in my mind as the voice of Nate Heller. Bravo Mr Collins and Mr Miller. Now on to book four for me.

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Very entertaining

Would you consider the audio edition of True Crime to be better than the print version?

Very interesting story and plot and very well-read. You cannot go wrong listening to this book.

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Great book!

The story was fantastic. Narrator did a good job. Lead character was good but not perfect. Just a lot of fun and intrigue!

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Excellent book!

Would you consider the audio edition of True Crime to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version but Dan John Miller does such an excellent job of narrating that I can only imagine that the audio version is far superior because he brings all of the characters to life and his timing and pace are perfect for this genre.

What other book might you compare True Crime to and why?

Can't really compare it to anything. It stands on its own.

Have you listened to any of Dan John Miller’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Comparable to his performance in True Detective. Once again, excellent.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There were a lot of funny moments in this book. The timing of the author and the delivery of the narrator had me laughing out loud several times. The humor helped to break up the drama and give the book more depth and helped to develop the character of Nathan Heller.

Any additional comments?

Mac Allan Collins is becoming one of my favorite authors. He does such an excellent job of story telling. He captures the time period and the characters with such depth. I'm becoming a big fan.

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  • David Lockhart
  • 02-24-16

very good

very good struggle to finish but recommended to anyone who likes true crime worth a read