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.
What I Thought:
I am in two minds with The Yankee Club – I thought the plot was pretty good, the main characters were engaging, and I loved the Prohibition-era setting, but I found some of the language a bit cliched and felt that real-life characters were shoe-horned in in a bit of a cringey way. For example the part where, early on, Jake Donovan’s driver helps Cole Porter write ‘Anything Goes’ had me reading with one eye!
In other places I did wonder how many times the other characters could say variations of ‘Hi Jake’, ‘Well, if it isn’t Jake Donovan’ etc – I mean, we know the man’s name by now!
This sounds now like I didn’t like – which isn’t the case at all. I actually DID like many elements of it, and I will be reading the two books in the series that have now come out, so that’s a pretty good concession from me!!
eCopy received from Netgalley.