Cover image for Mourn the living : a Nolan novel
Mourn the living : a Nolan novel
Collins, Max Allan.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Unity, Me. : Five Star, 1999.
Physical Description:
182 pages ; 22 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



Never before published, this is Collins' first mystery, written in the 1960s. Collins introduces the character of Nolan, an enigmatic thief who appears in seven subsequent Collins novels. Here Collins provides a vivid portrait of college-town life in the Vietnam years as Nolan does a favor for an old-time Mafia friend and tries to find out how his daughter was killed. Was it suicide or was she involved in the circle of drugs that was so pervasive? Nolan risks his life investigating a Mafia family to help out his old pal.

Author Notes

Max Allen Collins was born in 1948 in Muscatine, Iowa. He is a two-time winner of the Private Eye Writer's of America's Shamus Award for his Nathaniel Heller historical thrillers "True Detective" and "Stolen Away". Collins also wrote the Dick Tracy comic strip begining in 1977 and ending in the early 1990s. He has contributed to a number of other comics, including Batman. Collins created his first independent feature film, Mommy, following a nightmarish experience as screenwriter on the cable movie The Expert.

Collins has been contracted by DC Comics to write three tie-ins to his critically acclaimed graphic novel "The Road to Perdition", which was adapted into the feature film. Author of other such move tie-in bestsellers as "In the Line of Fire" and "Air Force One", he is also the screenwriter/director of the cult favorite suspense films "Mommie" and "Mommie's Day".

(Publisher Provided) Max Allen Collins was born in Muscatine, Iowa on March 3, 1948.

His graphic novel Road to Perdition, published in 1998, is the basis of the Academy Award-winning 2002 film starring Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Daniel Craig. His other works include Road to Purgatory, Road to Paradise, Return to Perdition, Bye Bye, Baby, and Target Lancer. He won the Shamus awards for True Detective in 1983 and Stolen Away in 1991. He is completing a number of Mike Hammer novels begun by the late Mickey Spillane. He has collaborated with his wife Barbara Collins on three novels and numerous short stories. Their Antiques Flee Market won the Romantic Times Best Humorous Mystery Novel award in 2009.

His comics credits include the syndicated strip Dick Tracy (1977-1993), Ms. Tree, Batman; and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, based on the hit TV series for which he has also written ten novels. He has written tie-in books for several movies including Saving Private Ryan, Air Force One, and American Gangster, which won the Best Novel Scribe Award in 2008 from the International Association of Tie-in Writers.

His non-fiction works include The History of Mystery and Men's Adventure Magazines, which won Anthony Award. He is also an independent filmmaker. He has written and directed five features and two documentaries, including the Lifetime movie Mommy and the sequel, Mommy's Day.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

When Nolan's Chicago Mob bosses, Charlie and Sam Franco, found out that Nolan had fallen in love with a cop, they ordered him to whack her. He refused so they killed her themselves. Nolan killed Sam Franco to even the score and now makes a living ripping off Mob operations despite the quarter-million dollar bounty Charlie Franco has placed on him. When a retired accountant for the Franco brothers asks Nolan to find out if his daughter's death was suicide or murder arranged by Franco, Nolan agrees to help a friend--and just maybe find a new way to mess with the Franco family. Though veteran mystery writer Collins published subsequent Nolan novels, this was the first of the series, and, remarkably, it was never published. It is a mature, exciting noir novel that compares well with Donald Westlake's (aka Richard Stark's) Parker novels. Often, unpublished early works by established writers should remain unpublished, but here is a notable exception. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

This is less a blast than a blip from the literary past of one of the genre's more prolific and acclaimed authors. Collins's crime fiction (Majic Man, Forecasts, Aug. 23; etc.) has often explored the past. This novel is now historical more by accident than design, however, as it's a previously unpublished volume from the late 1960s that marks the first appearance of Collins's protagonist Nolan, the mobster/thief/killer who appeared, in modified form, in subsequent novels, including Bait Money and Spree. Having killed two mob brothers in Chicago and stolen their money, Nolan lives mostly on the lam. Here, he journeys to Chelsey, Ill., to find the truth behind a college co-ed's death while high on acid. Collins doesn't write with his later authority here. He imagines two college-age women for Nolan to get friendly with, and two hapless hoods for him to beat up, but the plot doesn't feel fully developed and the solution seems almost unrelated to the preceding narrative. There are moments when Collins's later style appears in embryonic form, but there's a good reason why this novel remained unpublished for decades; today, it's a curiosity for Collins completists only. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved