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Stolen Away (Nathan Heller Novels) [Kindle Edition]

Max Allan Collins
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

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Book Description

When an incarcerated Al Capone claims he can help find the Lindbergh baby, detective Nate Heller is sent to the scene as a Chicago liaison, never dreaming that the fate of accused kidnapper Bruno Hauptmann would one day be in his hands.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Little did detective Nate Heller realize that following a suspicious-looking platinum blonde, baby-toting beauty through Chicago's LaSalle Street Station would lead him to solve the kidnapping of the son of a small-time bootlegger. He had hoped he might be solving the recent kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. But he does land a detective's position at the Lindbergh estate on Featherbed Lane in New Jersey. In this novel largely based on fact, most characters appear with their true names. While Col. Schwarzkopf is in charge of the local police force working on the case, Heller pursues tips with a variety of cohorts ranging from Dr. John Condon, a professor at Fordham University, to Evalyn Walsh McLean, a Washington socialite. Heller finally ends up at an Illinois farmhouse where Mr. and Mrs. Carl Belliance live with their 6-year-old adopted son, who Heller believes is the Lindbergh child. A shoot-out ensues at the farmhouse, and the true identity of the boy is never learned. Veteran author Collins's ( True Detective ) reconstruction of the Lindbergh case is so believable, one forgets that this is fiction.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Back Cover

March 1932. After the recently incarcerated Al Capone offers to negotiate the return of the kidnapped son of Charles Lindbergh, Nathan Heller of the Chicago P.D. is sent to Hopewell, New Jersey, as a police liaison. As a part of Lindbergh’s inner circle, Heller investigates crooks, cranks, socialites, and psychics in a frustrating, fruitless attempt to solve the case. Max Allan Collins makes the crime that captivated a nation the focal point of yet another fascinating and thoroughly spellbinding foray into his world of historical crime fiction. Four years later, in 1936, Heller—now a private detective, and considered an expert and insider on the Lindbergh case—is hired by the governor of New Jersey in an eleventh-hour quest to determine the guilt or innocence of Bruno Hauptmann, who sits on death row convicted of the murder and kidnapping of the Lindbergh child.

“A novel of the Lindbergh kidnapping by the master of ‘true-crime’ fiction...Don’t miss it!”—Publishers Weekly

Product Details

  • File Size: 1910 KB
  • Print Length: 643 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (September 13, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0054LXX18
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,532 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was the first of the "Nate Heller" detective series novels of Collins that I had read, and I must admit that I couldn't put it down. Not only is this tour de force a great mystery and suspense novel, it is also a wonderful historical novel; well researched and informative while grabbing and then not letting go of the reader's interest.
The story of how Chicago policeman Heller becomes involved in the case of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping is plausible enough. Once the wise cracking detective is admitted to the inner circle of the myriad investigators and con men (and women) involved in the infamous 1932 tragedy the excitement begins and continues without let-up. I was not that familiar with the details of the case until I started this novel, but Collins does a wonderful job of making each character (both those of historical record, and those who are fictional blendings of historical characters) belivable and memorable. One strong point of the book is that I finished it feeling that I knew more about the case that I did previously. Collins posts an afterword to the book that explains which parts are fictitious, conjecture, and historical. He also presents a detailed proposed reading list for those interested, along with his comments on the bias or worth of each author. I really appreciated this part of the book.
As for Heller himself, the Chicago lawman grows on you, even though Collins presents him as not always a shining knight, showing him "warts and all." The book is quite long, 593 pages in the paperback edition, including the afterword, but the complexities of the story make it a good read, well worth the time and effort.
A definite 5 stars, this one made me rush out and buy up other books in the Nate Heller series, as well as check out the facts of the historical case that inspired this story. My advice is for anyone who hasn't read this novel to do the same.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Heller mystery yet September 30, 2011
The fifth novel in Max Allan Collins's Nathan Heller series of historically accurate private-eye mysteries not only won the Shamus Award for best private-eye novel (the second in the series to win after True Detective), but is also, at 600 pages, the longest private-eye novel ever written.

But there's a lot of story to cover in Stolen Away, which focuses on the kidnapping of young Charles Lindbergh, Jr., "the Lindbergh baby," son of the famous pilot, "Lucky Lindy," who flew The Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic, the first person to do it solo.

The story begins, however, with Heller, at this point still a cop on the Chicago force, following a suspicious-looking blonde, baby in tow, through the local train station. The Lindbergh kidnapping is only a few days old, and Heller thinks he might be on the trail toward solving it, which would do wonderful things for his career. He tails the woman all the way home, only to discover he's stumbled onto another kidnapping entirely. But this case catches the attention of Charles Lindbergh ("Slim" to his friends), who requests Heller's assistance in the investigation of his own child's disappearance.

Since Heller is still a cop throughout most of the book, Stolen Away technically crosses the line of being a true private-eye novel. It is only Heller's distance from his normal jurisdiction that, in the long run, makes it feasible -- that and its part in an already established series. Heller works alone, and I guess that's what counts. Having an elderly Heller writing his "memoirs" from his retirement complex in Coral Springs is a nice touch.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Collins' Best Work May 2, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This Nate Heller novel is the first to jump from Chicago mobsters to something more as Max Collins sends his PI to New Jersey to investigate the original Crime of the Century, the Lindbergh kidnapping. Along the way, Collins casts serious doubts on the man convicted of the crime, Bruno Haputmann, and offers a fictionalized but believable account of the investigation and the trial. Moreover, Collins also portrays Lindbergh with much less hero worship than the recent biography by Scott Berg. While this is not meant as a work of truth, Collins provides a necessary balance to such books with this novel.
Most of all, though, it's a great read, suspenseful even though the ending is a matter of historical fact. This is a must for Collins fans, and it's great to see it reissued at last.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Despite its flaws, one of Heller's best February 6, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Having read all of the Nathan Heller thrillers, I have to admit that none of them are as riveting as the first two: "True Crime" and "True Detective". They're spare, lean and elegantly written. Every detail packs a wallop. The later novels, while still excellent, tend to seem bloated and self-important by comparison. The same points are made over and over, historical characters are dragged in even if they're not intrinsic to the plots, some very dull fictional characters are given too much attention and Heller becomes more and more infallible.
But "Stolen Away" is still well worth reading. The background details are carefully researched and Collins does a masterful job of conjuring up the tense, post-kidnapping atmosphere of the Lindbergh home and the hysteria surrounding the investigation and the trial. Charles and Anne Lindbergh are drawn with skill and insight. And Collins presents his speculations about who was responsible for the kidnapping logically and intelligently.
But Heller's ultimate conclusions about the fate of the baby are ludicrous, illogical and completely unsubstantiated by any kind of evidence. Have adhered scrupulously to the facts while drawing his conclusions throughout the book, he veers off into irresponsible fantasy at the end. It's not playing fair to the reader. Also, Heller's affair with Evalyn Walsh MacLean is just silly and unbelieveable. But Heller always has to have sex with somebody in each book and I guess she was the best available choice. At least it wasn't Anne Lindbergh.
This makes it sound as though I didn't like the book, which isn't the case. I definately recommend it, with the warning that the pretension and over-writing that mar the later Heller novels make their first appearance here.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Love all the Heller novels that I've read and this ...
Love all the Heller novels that I've read and this is one is a very good. Collins entertains you with alternate theories on crimes that you know and makes you think, laugh and be... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Grco1
5.0 out of 5 stars REMEMBER LINDBERGH?
Mate Heller was a real guy, ad, as the protagonist in two of Mr. Collin's novels, is engaging and intelligent. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Steven A. Chase
2.0 out of 5 stars Maybe it's the subject matter and lack of availability of ...
Maybe it's the subject matter and lack of availability of solid information about the Lindbergh baby's kidnapping, but this story was full of such huge gaps in logic that it was... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Judi Confrey
3.0 out of 5 stars Just a little much
As a stand-alone perhaps this book would work but as part of a series that shifts the action back to before the first novel it just leaves too many hanging threads for Heller. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, Great Speculation!
Collins puts together a book that contains a lot of interesting speculation on the Lindberg kidnapping, I've never studied the kidnapping, although I have always been aware of the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Warren A. Lewis
3.0 out of 5 stars Stories remain true to historic event
I'm a 60+ year-old grandmother who recently discovered Nathan Heller novels, and the difficulty of putting one down once I've begun reading it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I've enjoyed all the Max Allan Collins books. They are a fun read, but this one kept me spellbound.
Published 4 months ago by GK for 3
4.0 out of 5 stars Long but interesting
Collins tale of the 1932 Lindbergh baby kidnapping is long and involved with plenty of twists and turns to keep it interesting. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dennis Dean
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
enjoy all of his books
Published 4 months ago by PAT FUHRMAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
All Chicago based books and that makes them more interesting if you have personal knowledge of the history of Chicago.
Published 6 months ago by Carol
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More About the Author

Max Allan Collins is a New York Times bestselling author of original mysteries, a Shamus award winner and an experienced author of movie adaptions and tie-in novels. His graphic novel ROAD TO PERDITION was made into a major motion picture by Tom Hanks's production company, Playtone.

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