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Damned in Paradise (Nathan Heller Novels) Paperback – September 13, 2011
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From the Back Cover
In 1931, Nate Heller—on a leave of absence from the Chicago P.D.—goes to Hawaii to work as an investigator for family friend Clarence Darrow. One of five Honolulu natives accused of the rape of recent bride Thalia Massie has been murdered; facing murder charges are Thalia’s naval officer husband and her socialite mother. Something doesn’t seem right, and Darrow has brought Heller in to get to the bottom of it. A first-rate detective thriller, Max Allan Collins’ Damned in Paradise shimmers with authenticity as it drives inexorably towards its grave conclusion. Heller—aided by Chang Apana, the real-life model for Charlie Chan—determines that while Thalia surely was raped, the identity of her attackers are in question, and the lush tropical setting cannot dispel the morass of bigotry, lies, and revenge through which the young detective must wade to reach the bitter truth.
“Collins recreates a time and place flawlessly, and makes the most of the unique niche he has carved for himself in the genre: presenting alternate solutions to real crimes. A wonderfully entertaining story.”—Booklist
About the Author
Max Allan Collins has earned fifteen Private Eye Writers of America "Shamus" nominations, winning for his Nathan Heller novels, True Detective and Stolen Away, and receiving the PWA life achievement award, the Eye. His graphic novel, Road to Perdition, which is the basis of the Academy Award-winning film starring Tom Hanks, was followed by two novels, Road to Purgatory and Road to Paradise. His suspense series include Quarry, Nolan, Mallory, and Eliot Ness, and his numerous comics credits include the syndicated Dick Tracy and his own Ms. Tree. He has written and directed five feature films and two documentaries, including "The Expert," a HBO World Premiere. His coffee-table book The History of Mystery received nominations for every major mystery award and Men’s Adventure Magazines won the Anthony Award. Collins lives in Muscatine, Iowa, with his wife, writer Barbara Collins. They have collaborated on seven novels and numerous short stories, and are currently writing the “Trash ‘n’ Treasures” mysteries.
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Top customer reviews
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The story is based upon a true incident that resulted from, and contained, numerous controversial incidents. The research is thorough, as usual, and the material is welded smoothly together with fiction into a fascinating novel by the very talented and multi- awarded author. And again as usual, such disparate well-known individuals of the day as Clarence Darrow and other notables of the time and Chang Apana, the Hawaiian detective believed to be the model for the popular movie character Charlie Chan, played by Warner Olan, and the Olympic swimmer, Buster Crabbe, who replaced Johnny Weissmuller as `Tarzan' and went on to become a `B' movie star are included.
Little more need be said. Damned in Paradise is a most enjoyable read that provides a fascinating review of the `facts' of a case so obviously influenced by individuals in another time when the United States was exerting its might in a `bullying' fashion, really not unlike the period of the post Mexican War and the fiasco with respect to the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Reviewed by John H. Manhold, award winning fiction/non-fiction author.
I am not familiar with the Massie case that is the basis for this book so I can't say much about the historical nature of the book. As a story it is great. When I was a kid my grandfather showed me several Charlie Chan movies that he had seen as a kid. I did not know that Chan was based on a real character who appears in this novel.