cover image The Confessions of Al Capone

The Confessions of Al Capone

Loren D. Estleman. Forge, $27.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3119-9

Edgar-finalist Estleman (Burning Midnight) presents a nuanced and compelling fictionalized portrait of the best-known gangster of them all, Al Capone. In 1944, J. Edgar Hoover pulls Peter Vasco off a desk job for a special undercover assignment. Capone is in Florida, dying of syphilis, and Hoover hopes the right person can get information from him that would enable the bureau to make cases against successors to his criminal throne. As Vasco’s father was acquainted with the mobster from a long-ago incident, the young investigator is tapped to pose as a priest and work his way into Capone’s inner circle to elicit what useful information he can. The book alternates between third-person description of Vasco’s efforts and a convincing first-person narration by Capone as he shares some of his secrets. Estleman captures his lead’s ambivalence at deceiving others for a greater good perfectly, and the directions the plot takes aren’t always foreseeable. Agent: Dominick Abel, Dominick Abel Literary Agency. (June)