An immigrant from County Mayo, Charlie O'Kane is the American Dream come true, as he rises from immigrant Brooklyn beat cop to District Attorney, Brigadier General, Mayor of New York, and then ambassador to Mexico.
In 1941, when Charlie was district attorney, Abe "Kid Twist" Reles was Charlie's star witness against the biggest crime syndicate in New York. While under 24-hour police watch, Reles jumped - or was he pushed? - out the window of the seedy Coney Island motel where he was being hidden, and with him went Charlie's case.
Over a decade later, Charlie’s younger brother, Tom, finds himself investigating Charlie, who has been in exile in Mexico with his beautiful young second wife. His reputation in shreds, with accusations of mob connections and corruption stemming from Reles' death, Charlie’s only hope of being cleared rests with the adoring Tom, who still believes Charlie is innocent, despite the ever-mounting secrets between them and his growing suspicions about his baffling brother.
This is a story of political corruption, intrigue, murder, Irish immigrants, adultery and New York in the 40's and 50's. That's a little too ambitious. Some of the street scenes and crowd scenes are overwritten and transparent attempts to be evocative. Surprisingly, the scenes in Mexico are very evocative of a lost time. Many of the characters, especially the gangsters are vividly described. But at times the book seem to veer into being a romance novel. It is not a bad book, just a little sprawling. The solution to the central mystery was clever but took so long, it was not that surprising.
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