*Starred Review* The third in Collins’ trilogy of Nathan Heller novels about JFK, this one jumps from a few weeks before the assassination (Target Lancer, 2012), when a planned attempt on the president’s life in Chicago was aborted, to several months after the events of November 22, 1963. Heller becomes involved when he and his son are nearly run down as they leave a Beatles concert. Recognizing the driver as one of the Cubans involved in the Chicago plot, Heller sets out to take his family off the assassins’ radar and soon finds himself even deeper in hot water, as he follows the trail of a host of spurious suicides by witnesses of the shooting in Dallas whose versions of what happened conflict with the official, “one-man, one-shooter” version being promulgated by the Warren Commission. Teaming with TV star and investigative reporter Flo Kilgore (read Dorothy Kilgallen), who is on the verge of exposing the cover-up—and its ties to several LBJ cronies—Heller ruffles feathers at the CIA, in the Mob, and possibly even in (or very near) the White House. A master at thoroughly believable historical re-creations of unsolved or covered-up crimes, Collins is the perfect fiction writer to tackle the JFK assassination, and he does so brilliantly, working the edges of the story by focusing on the little-known raft of questionable suicides—all documented in the historical record—and making great use of the Kilgore/Kilgallen character, who was herself one of the unlikely suicides. Even readers who aren’t conspiracy theorists will find themselves utterly drawn into the story and convinced by Collins’ version of what happened. And, best of all, it’s a terrific detective novel, compelling and well constructed even without the historical connection. --Bill Ott
“Collins has not only devised an original take on what may well be the most-written-about crime in history but also made Heller's role in the case plausible.” ―Publishers Weekly on Target Lancer
“Target Lancer brings us a different, fact-based assassination scenario, eerily paralleling the Dealey Plaza nightmare.” ―Kirkus Reviews on Target Lancer
“Collins spins a fascinating tale with appearances by Jack Ruby, Jimmy Hoffa, and Bobby Kennedy. Gripping from the get-go, this will satisfy both Heller fans and assassination wonks ever eager for a new spin on the story.” ―Booklist on Target Lancer
“Noir meets the History Channel―Collins effortlessly weaves his historical material into a fast-moving narrative.” ―Booklist on 'Bye Bye, Baby'
“Max Allan Collins can lay claim to being the master of true-crime fiction. . . a seamless juxtaposition of narrative cunning and historical cross-referencing.” ―Chicago Magazine