And the Angels Sing

J. Madison Davis, Author Permanent Press (NY) $28 (303p) ISBN 978-1-877946-70-7
In this engrossing tale of soldiers, musicians and mobsters, singer Carl Walthers, ""the Carolina Crooner,"" is on the verge of his big break--thanks to a Cleveland crime boss--when Pearl Harbor is attacked. Drafted, Walthers gets wounded by a sniper overseas, then serves as interpreter at a western Pennsylvania prison camp for captured German soldiers. He seeks out his erstwhile benefactor in Cleveland, but a gangland shake-up has left a new hood in charge. That's Ernie Musso (shortened from Mussolini), who wants Walthers to cozy up to Natalie Bixby, a former singer in his band who may know the whereabouts of Musso's most dangerous rival. Hoping for help with his postwar singing comeback, Walthers reluctantly agrees. But events at the prison camp sidetrack him: a local boy is molested and murdered, and a German soldier disappears soon after befriending Walthers. Davis does not spring the crimes until halfway through the book, allowing Walthers and his fellow players to become fascinating, fully realized characters. When they are tested, their reactions ring true. The final chapter is bittersweet and memorable. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1996
Release date: 05/01/1996
Genre: Fiction
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