Do No Harm is the next mystery in the Nathan Heller series by New York Times bestselling author Max Allan Collins.
It's 1954 and Heller takes on the Sam Sheppard case—a young doctor is startled from sleep and discovers his wife brutally murdered. He claims that a mysterious intruder killed his wife. But all the evidence points to a disturbed husband who has grown tired of married life and yearned to be free at all costs. Sheppard is swiftly convicted and sent to rot in prison.
Just how firm was the evidence…and was it tampered with to fit a convenient narrative to settle scores and push political agendas? Nathan’s old friend Elliot Ness calls in a favor and as Nathan digs into the case he becomes convinced of Sheppard’s innocence. But Nate can’t prove it and has to let the case drop.
The road to justice is sometimes a long one. Heller's given another chance years later and this time he's determined to free the man…even if it brings his own death a bit closer.
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MWA Grand Master Collins's Zelig-like PI, Nate Heller, who's tackled most of 20th-century America's greatest unsolved mysteries, gets involved in the Sam Sheppard murder case in his superior 17th outing (after 2016's Better Dead). When the Cleveland doctor reported having found his wife, Marilyn, bludgeoned to death in their bedroom in 1954, Heller happened to be in the city, spending time with his old friend Eliot Ness, who invited him along to the crime scene to help determine whether the killing was the work of the serial killer whom the two men had been chasing for years. The m.o. established that another murderer was responsible, but Heller noted multiple oddities, including the failure to preserve the crime scene and indications that Sheppard's family was covering up his guilt. The doctor was eventually convicted of the crime, a verdict many felt the evidence didn't support. Three years later, Perry Mason creator Erle Stanley Gardner asks Heller to reassess the case, a request that leads to a creative solution of the notorious mystery. This is a superior and inventive effort that shows the series still has plenty of life.