cover image Target Lancer

Target Lancer

Max Allan Collins. Forge, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2180-0

Having unraveled the truth behind Marilyn Monroe’s death in 2011’s Bye Bye, Baby, Nate Heller now looks into JFK’s assassination in Collins’s suspenseful 14th novel featuring the detective dubbed by Life magazine the “Private Eye to the Stars.” In October 1963, a press agent friend asks Nate to accompany him to a Chicago club to help deliver an envelope full of cash to “a guy named Jake.” Jake turns out to be someone Nate knows—the mob-connected Jake Rubinstein, who runs strip clubs in Dallas under the name Jack Ruby. Ruby suggests that Nate has been assigned to keep tabs on him by the conspirators behind Operation Mongoose, the CIA-sponsored effort to take out Fidel Castro with the Mafia’s help. Soon, rumors of an upcoming hit on the president gain substance. 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. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary. (Nov.)