Monday, December 31, 2012

Read: "Chicago Lightning" By Max Allan Collins

Read: Chicago Lightning:the collected Nathan Heller short stories by Max Allan Collins, 2011, 9781439275870.

I never read a Heller novel.  Collins has written online about the novels and the topic I best recall has to do with sexuality.  Heller is a skirt chaser and the novels do not avoid sex scenes. Collins has discussed his own reactions and opinions about readers' and reviewers't adverse reactions to the sex scenes.  Because of that I was expecting sex sex sex sex sex.

Well, Heller is a skirt chaser and ends up dating or sleeping with several gals but there was nothing I consider graphic.  I was disappointed.  Good thing the stories are so well done.  Pub dates range from 1984 to 2008.  Setting range from early 1930s to mid 1950s.  I skimmed Collins's intro.

Heller can be a bit of a dickhead at times and is always interested in making a buck.  He won't cheap a client  but will charge a wealthy guy extra.  The realistic settings mixed with true crime are interesting.  Plenty of Chicago mobsters, L.A. mobsters, Cleveland crooks, and Eliot Ness.

1. The intro by Collins mentions Heller's post-war changes.  He becomes more Mike Hammer-ish and ready with violence.  I should read some of those post-war PTSD stories in comparison to the Quarry books.
2.  This is an ARC I picked up somewhere.  Should I complain about errors in an advanced readers copy? No. But, I will.
Story titles not on each story page.
No table of contents.
Author notes out of order.
There, I feel better.
3.  Heller likes rum.
4.  Heller carries a 9mm Browning.  Is this supposed to be a Hi-Power? EDIT 1-2-12: I picked up my Hi-Power clone today and put about 70 rounds through it.  The pistol shot pretty well but the trigger is a little rough and my thumbs forward grip pushed up on the slide lock.  I put tape on the web of my hand to dull the hammer bite.
5.  Heller likes all sorts of gals.  But, since this is a novel, they are all pretty, sexy, and willing to boink.
6.  P.I. novel staple of a PI with police connections and ability to get information from the police or tag along with them.
7.  Plenty of historical research.

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