Monday 22 April 2013



Nolan was still alive; his wounds were nearly healed and his money was safe – all $800.000 of it. It was Nolan’s birthday and he was sitting happy.

 Until Planner was killed. Planner was an eccentric antique dealer; Planner had the $800.000 in his safe. But now he was dead and the money was gone.

 Caught up in a sizzling crossfire of double-dealing, danger and death, Nolan was up against the “Family” again. There was only one way out....Blood Money!

This was my second Nolan outing in as many months, with another 6 to follow in the series. Originally published in the 70’s it has the feel of a dime-story novel. I wouldn’t pretend this is the best book I’ve read all week, and it isn’t particularly stand-out in any way at all. The plot is relatively straightforward, Nolan’s money gets stolen. Nolan finds out who it is has taken it and he sets out to recover it. There’s a fair bit of action and violence, nothing too gratuitous or graphic, but most of the characters are a bit two-dimensional.

For all its faults, I enjoyed it. Sometimes it’s enough that a book makes you want to get to the end quickly to see how things play out and without taxing the brain too much. I wouldn’t try and foist this on anyone else, but I am looking forward to the third instalment next month.

This and the predecessor were written quite early in Collins career, and I’m guessing that as he wrote more the quality of his writing improved and subsequent books will be stronger and more enjoyable, but hey - if they stay at this standard, I won’t be screaming for 5 or 6 hours of my life back.

3 from 5

I bought this and the preceding book, as a “Two For The Money” omnibus on Amazon recently.  


  1. Col - I think you put it quite well. Sometimes it really is enough that a book holds one's attention enough so that one wants to know how it all works out.

    1. Margot, thanks. Yes, it's good enough to be entertained -sometimes.
      When the odd book comes along that blows me away, that's great too....but perversely I don't feel that every book ought to.

  2. Col, this is a good review; lets me know what I should expect if I try this series.

    I have got to read some Max Allan Collins. The only book of his I own is True Detective, set in the Prohibition era and the first of a long series.

    1. Tracy, thank you. I think his Nate Keller series which you have the first of might be more highly regarded than his Nolans. At a guess they are probably better written as he'd been writing for a long while now. I hadn't planned on reading the Heller books, but I'll see how you get along with it, always assuming you get to it through mountainous piles of unread stuff!

    2. I am actually hopeful of getting to True Detective this year, because it is a historical mystery, that fits in a challenge, and I have had it forever.

    3. I suppose if you enjoy it too much the temptation will be to start another series. I don't know whetehr that's a good thing or a bad thing.