In 1933, America is at a crossroads: Prohibition will soon be history, organized crime is rampant, and President Roosevelt promises to combat the Great Depression with a New Deal. In these uncertain times, former-Pinkerton-detective-turned-bestselling-author Jake Donovan is beckoned home to Manhattan. He has made good money as the creator of dashing gumshoe Blackie Doyle, but the price of success was Laura Wilson, the woman he left behind. Now a Broadway star, Laura is engaged to a millionaire banker—and waltzing into a dangerous trap.
Before Jake can win Laura back, he’s nearly killed—and his former partner is shot dead—after a visit to the Yankee Club, a speakeasy dive in their old Queens neighborhood. Suddenly Jake and Laura are plunged into a conspiracy that runs afoul of gangsters, sweeping from New York’s private clubs to the halls of corporate power and to the White House itself. Brushing shoulders with the likes of Dashiell Hammett, Cole Porter, and Babe Ruth, Jake struggles to expose an inconspicuous organization hidden in plain sight, one determined to undermine the president and change the country forever.
I’m a big fan of historical fiction- it’s the perfect combination of my love for history and a good story. I especially like when an author is able to weave important or well-known historical events into a story line- I think it’s a great creative skill. I also really like when I read historical fiction that teaches me something or sparks my curiosity to do some further learning.
The Yankee Club was all these things for me. This book sort of reminded me of watching some great 30s gangster show like Boardwalk Empire or Dick Tracy. I especially liked the combination of suspense, love, and intrigue. I used to read a lot of suspense books growing up ( Mary Higgins Clark!), but never really any crime/noir suspense, but this book definitely makes me want to read more historical fiction/crime/suspense novels.
Despite this love of the genre and style, I thought some of the story line/dialogue was a bit rushed or overly simplified. It was overall a fun, quick read and I would recommend it for someone interested in historical fiction. I especially liked that Murphy peppered in various notable New Yorkers and names/places from that time period- always impresses me when an author does the research!
My rating: 3 stars
The Yankee Club is available wherever e-books are sold. I received my copy through Random House Alibi on Netgalley via TLC Book Tours, who is sponsoring a contest to to win your own here.
Note: I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions, unless otherwise stated, are my own.