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Extended Audio Sample Nemesis: The Final Case of Eliot Ness Audiobook, by William Bernhardt Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (147 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: William Bernhardt Narrator: Mark Deakins Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2009 ISBN: 9781415961230
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In his bestselling legal thrillers, William Bernhardt has explored the dark side of contemporary politics, power, and the law. Now Bernhardt turns back the clock to the city of Cleveland, Ohio, in the fall of 1935. Based on true events and new discoveries about Eliot Ness, Nemesis is a brilliantly told story featuring this legendary lawman’s fateful duel with a terrifyingly new kind of criminal: America’s first serial killer.In Chicago, Eliot Ness had created “the Untouchables,” the fabled team of federal agents who were beyond corruption and who finally put Al Capone behind bars. Now the headline-grabbing Ness has been moved to Cleveland, where a new mayor desperately needs some positive publicity. The heroic, squeaky-clean Fed is the perfect man to become the city’s director of public safety, but by the time Ness starts his new job, a killer has started a career of his own. And this man is as obsessed with blood and mayhem as Eliot Ness is obsessed with justice.One by one, bodies are found, each one decapitated and uniquely dissected with a doctor’s skill and a madman’s bent. The police are baffled, the population is terrorized, and newspaper headlines blare about the so-called “Torso Killer.” Though it’s not his turf, Ness is forced to cross bureaucratic boundaries and take over the case, working with a dogged, street-smart detective and making enemies every step of the way. The more energy Ness pours into the investigation, the more it takes over his life, his marriage, even his untouchable reputation. Because in Cleveland, there is only one true untouchable: a killer who has the perfect hiding place and the perfect plan for destroying Eliot Ness.From the first primitive use of forensic psychology to a portrait of America battling the Great Depression and a man battling his own demons, Nemesis is a masterwork of mystery, murder, and vivid, dynamic historical suspense.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kim | 2/16/2014

    " Based upon the true story of Eliot Ness trying to catch a serial killer in Cleveland. The whole time I am reading it I thought I was watching a bad film noir movie. Cliches abound, so much so that you felt like you read the page already. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa Currier | 2/11/2014

    " I have read alot this author's "justice" books, and really enjoyed them. This was a great blend of fact and fiction. The ending was a little abrupt. It gave a better picture of Ness,and the case he couldn't solve, and how it haunted him for the rest of his life. A very enjoyable read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rick | 1/14/2014

    " Interesting, based on true incidences in the life of Elliot Ness after Chicago and Al Capone. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sally | 11/25/2013

    " Stinks. Written by a non-writer. Waste of time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dkeslin | 11/22/2013

    " Based on true fact, Eliot Ness of Al Capone fame, tracks the first serial killer in Cleveland in the fall of 1935. A chilling, fast rread full of excitement. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 7/19/2013

    " There was one case that Eliot Ness was unable to solve: the Torso Murders case in Cleveland, OH. It haunted him for the remainder of his life. Fast paced but the ending was on the unrealistic side. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annette | 7/11/2013

    " Very informative novel based on fact about the life of Elliot Ness after his involvement with the Al Capone case. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tim | 5/5/2013

    " To enjoy this novel, it helps to be a fan of Elliot Ness as the author undoubtedly is. The story follows the last case of Ness with a few added surmises from the author. If the pace could have been faster as at the end, this would have been better. 4 of 10 stars "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chrissy Owens | 1/24/2013

    " Okay, I'm giving it 4 stars b/c I felt like it was an accurate portrayal of Eliot and dismissing the fact that the ending was shocking and disappointing. The book was so well assembled in its near realism that hitting such a fictitious ending was like being slapped in the face. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 12/7/2012

    " A fictionalized tale of Eliot Ness's last years, but based on actual events. Stalking what is perported to be the first serial killer in the US, did Ness get him or not? It's worth reading the book to find out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carroll | 8/18/2012

    " This was a fascinating read! It's fiction, but so plausible that you forget it's made up! I heartily recommend it for mystery fans! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Olivia | 10/4/2011

    " Good crime story based on historical events, though not as good as some others I have read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ian | 6/29/2011

    " slow start, but interesting reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dave | 5/20/2011

    " Very entertaining and factual to a degree "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 OK Dad | 3/23/2011

    " Another local Okie writer. Cleaning up Ness's final mess. Nicely done, but can't stop seeing Kevin Costner as Ness. Where is Robert Stack when you need him? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 9/10/2010

    " Good historical fiction, and makes you wonder what really happened in this unsolved mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 8/29/2010

    " Breezy fast read, but has some depth (other than the case itself) to it. I won't spoil your fun by telling you any details of the story, but if you only know EN from the Robert Stack portrayal the book and the afternotes are an eye-opener "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheryl | 4/25/2010

    " Loved it--I would call it "historical fiction". Fictionalized account of the case that ruined Eliot Ness' reputation and career. But Bernhardt does a great job of redeeming Ness' reputation in this hard to put down book! Well researched, well written! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carroll | 2/5/2010

    " This was a fascinating read! It's fiction, but so plausible that you forget it's made up! I heartily recommend it for mystery fans! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 1/27/2010

    " There was one case that Eliot Ness was unable to solve: the Torso Murders case in Cleveland, OH. It haunted him for the remainder of his life. Fast paced but the ending was on the unrealistic side. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Madelyne | 1/14/2010

    " Okay, I'm giving it 4 stars b/c I felt like it was an accurate portrayal of Eliot and dismissing the fact that the ending was shocking and disappointing. The book was so well assembled in its near realism that hitting such a fictitious ending was like being slapped in the face. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ian | 12/18/2009

    " slow start, but interesting reading.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Owen | 10/13/2009

    " A great murder mystery with a variety of interesting people. A touch gory. Highly recommended.

    FYI - I was born and raise in Chicago, and enjoyed watching the TV Series, "The Untouchables," in my youth. This might make the story more entertaining for me than for others. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 OK | 6/13/2009

    " Another local Okie writer. Cleaning up Ness's final mess. Nicely done, but can't stop seeing Kevin Costner as Ness. Where is Robert Stack when you need him? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 4/14/2009

    " A fictionalized tale of Eliot Ness's last years, but based on actual events. Stalking what is perported to be the first serial killer in the US, did Ness get him or not? It's worth reading the book to find out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dkeslin | 4/11/2009

    " Based on true fact, Eliot Ness of Al Capone fame, tracks the first serial killer in Cleveland in the fall of 1935. A chilling, fast rread full of excitement. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 4/11/2009

    " Breezy fast read, but has some depth (other than the case itself) to it. I won't spoil your fun by telling you any details of the story, but if you only know EN from the Robert Stack portrayal the book and the afternotes are an eye-opener "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annette | 4/9/2009

    " Very informative novel based on fact about the life of Elliot Ness after his involvement with the Al Capone case. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rick | 4/8/2009

    " Interesting, based on true incidences in the life of Elliot Ness after Chicago and Al Capone. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kim | 4/6/2009

    " Based upon the true story of Eliot Ness trying to catch a serial killer in Cleveland. The whole time I am reading it I thought I was watching a bad film noir movie. Cliches abound, so much so that you felt like you read the page already. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Polly | 3/24/2009

    " First, I had no idea there was a serial killer in Cleveland.
    Secondly, I had no idea Eliot Ness ended his career on such a downward slide.
    Great story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cheryl | 3/16/2009

    " Loved it--I would call it "historical fiction". Fictionalized account of the case that ruined Eliot Ness' reputation and career. But Bernhardt does a great job of redeeming Ness' reputation in this hard to put down book! Well researched, well written!
    "

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About the Author
Author William Bernhardt

William Bernhardt is the author of many novels and has twice won the Oklahoma Book Award for Best Fiction, and in 2000 he was presented the H. Louise Cobb Distinguished Author Award “in recognition of an outstanding body of work in which we understand ourselves and American society at large.” A former trial attorney, Bernhardt has received several awards for his public service. He lives in Tulsa with his three children.

About the Narrator

Mark Deakins is an actor whose television appearances include Head Case, Star Trek: Voyager, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. His film credits include Intervention, Star Trek: Insurrection, and The Devil’s Advocate. He recently wrote, directed, and produced the short film The Smith Interviews.