Bait Money was his first published novel. It is what readers like to call a page-turner. It’s a good solid story set in the Midwest, in Iowa to be precise. Its the story of a man named Nolan, who once worked for the Mob, but had a disagreement with them, and now works as an independent doing jobs with crews that the Planner has put together.
This story has Nolan working for a truce, but in order to pay off the mob, he has to do a heist and no one will work with him because by now he is too hot. So, instead, the Planner sets Nolan up with a virgin crew, a bunch of college kids who collect comic books and long-haired stoned out hippies. This is who he is going to use to help him rob the largest bank in town! The bulk of the tale is about how the daring daylight robbery is pulled off with only one professional in on the job and Nolan’s eventual confrontation with his nemesis, Charlie.
It’s a great story, well written, finely paced. Its good old fashioned crime fiction set in the early seventies in the Midwest. Collins combines fast action with doses of humor of levity and does it well.