Cover image for Blood and thunder : a Nathan Heller novel
Blood and thunder : a Nathan Heller novel
Collins, Max Allan.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton, 1995.
Physical Description:
320 pages ; 23 cm
Geographic Term:
Format :


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

On Order


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

Some think Louisiana governor Huey Long is akin to Hitler and Mussolini, but others believe he's just a good ol' boy trying to help the common man. The president and sole operative of Chicago's A-1 Detective Agency, Nate Heller, doesn't care. His job is to protect Long against an assassination attempt. Despite Heller's best efforts, Long is murdered by a lone gunman, Dr. Carl Weiss. A year later, Heller is summoned back to bayou country at the mutual request of Mrs. Long and her husband's life-insurance carrier. She feels the governor may have been accidentally shot by one of his own trigger-happy bodyguards. If so, the insurance company would not be able to claim its homicide exclusion. Both Mrs. Long and the insurers have agreed to abide by Heller's independent investigation. What Heller discovers is a mild-mannered ear, nose, and throat specialist in Dr. Weiss whose family integrity may have been undermined by the ruthless, manipulative Long. Another excellent historical mystery in which Collins provides a plausible "alternative" solution to real-life crime. Highly recommended. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

This time politics absorbs Chicago series shamus Nate Heller, whose adventures (in Carnal Hours, etc.) place him in the middle of the century's most dramatic crimes. It's 1935, and the dogged, skirt-chasing Nate is working as a bodyguard for populist Louisiana loudmouth and political loose cannon, Senator Huey Long. Long is tough and brash, and his lengthy list of enemies includes former employees, the oil industry and anyone ever subjected to one of the verbal shellackings for which he's famous. Trouble is, when the ``Kingfish'' is shot, his psychotic henchmen open fire with a vengeance, making it hard to tell exactly where the fatal bullet came from. At the urging of Long's widow, herself aglow with thoughts of double indemnity, Nate matches bullets to guns and guns to trigger fingers, all the while playing house with one of Huey's canny concubines. As always, Collins's sense of place and time is unerringly acute, and he happily indulges in re-creating Long's fiery stump style. Although Collins has carved out a mystery subgenre that he occupies nearly alone, he and his detective would be a tough act to follow even if they did have a serious rival or two. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved