Nolan does a favor for a friend and goes to Chelsey to investigate the apparent suicide of his daughter and see if The Outfit had anything to do with it. Nolan quickly gets tangled in a web of drugs and murder. Will he ever find out what happened to Irene Tisor?
While Mourn the Living is the eighth Nolan book, it was the first written and the first book Max Allan Collins ever wrote. I think all of my gripes with the story stem from there. While it's not a bad piece of crime fiction, especially since it was someone's first novel, parts really irked me. Time after time, Nolan does stupid things that aren't in character for a career criminal on the run. He leaves people alive who know who he is, despite the quarter million dollar price on his head. There were two hoods he let live on three different occasions! The twist at the end was telegraphed and wouldn't have been believeable had it been written today instead of in the 1960's.
To sum it up, while Nolan was created to be an homage to Richard Stark's Parker, in this particular volume he'd need a stepladder to kiss Parker's ass. While it was a welcome diversion, it's not essential to the Nolan experience. Do yourself a favor and pick up the Hard Case omnibus of Bait Money and Blood Money instead.