cover image The Devil May Dance

The Devil May Dance

Jake Tapper. Little, Brown, $28 (336p) ISBN 978-0-316-53023-1

Set in 1962, Tapper’s excellent sequel to 2018’s The Hellfire Club opens with a highly effective tease. New York congressman Charlie Marder is in a California cemetery along with his wife, Margaret, and members of the Rat Pack, including Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, who chose the grim locale to mark the passing of mobster Lucky Luciano. After the gathering ends, the Marders return to their rental car, only to find the body of an unnamed woman both of them knew in the trunk, her eyes shot out. On that cliffhanger, Tapper flashes back a month to New York City, where Marder gets a disturbing call from his political fixer father, Winston, who has been arrested for consorting with gangsters. During their brief jailhouse talk, Winston asks Marder to find out what Attorney General Robert Kennedy wants “and give it to him.” That turns out to be information on the relationships between Mafia leaders and Hollywood stars, such as Sinatra. The plot eventually circles back to the female corpse. Tapper makes good use of the rich source material. Fans of Max Allan Collins’s Nathan Heller books will be pleased. Agent: Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (May)