Bye Bye, Baby

Max Allan Collins. Forge, $24.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2179-4
Set in 1962, Collins's excellent 13th novel featuring Chicago PI Nate Heller (last seen in 2002's Chicago Confidential) finds Heller—who's investigated such high-profile crimes as the Lindbergh kidnapping and Huey Long's assassination—looking into the death of Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe. The book's first half covers the movie star's last two months, as she tries to deal with attacks on many fronts—by the movie studio that fired her; by her abusive ex-husband, Joe DiMaggio; and by the Kennedys. By the time a drug overdose claims her, there's no shortage of people who wanted her dead. Heller, Monroe's sometime lover, who refuses to buy the official line that she committed suicide, steps on powerful toes with his usual tenacity and stubbornness to reach the truth. Collins convincingly portrays the real-life players in the drama, who include Jimmy Hoffa and Frank Sinatra. Readers with a taste for hard-boiled roman à clef will hope that more Heller is in the offing. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/13/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
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