cover image Stolen Away

Stolen Away

Max Allan Collins. Bantam Books, $9.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-553-35233-7

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. (May)