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Jake & Clara: Scandal, Politics, Hollywood and Murder
     

Jake & Clara: Scandal, Politics, Hollywood and Murder

5.0 1
by David R. Stokes
 

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JAKE & CLARA is based on a true story about scandal, politics, Hollywood—and murder—from the dawn of the Jazz Age. When Warren Harding won the White House in 1920, his campaign received millions from Jake Hamon—“The Oil King of Oklahoma." Harding planned to make Jake the most powerful businessman in America. But Mrs

Overview

JAKE & CLARA is based on a true story about scandal, politics, Hollywood—and murder—from the dawn of the Jazz Age. When Warren Harding won the White House in 1920, his campaign received millions from Jake Hamon—“The Oil King of Oklahoma." Harding planned to make Jake the most powerful businessman in America. But Mrs. Harding (some called her "The Duchess") had one condition—Hamon, a married man, had to end his affair with his long-time mistress, a girl named Clara.

Jake and Clara had been together for ten years, since she was seventeen and he was thirty-seven. But Jake coveted the powerful Washington job, and he dumped Clara a couple of weeks after Harding was elected.

A few days later, Clara shot Jake.

By the time Jake died, Clara was in the wind. A headline-grabbing national search was conducted for the beautiful fugitive. Clara “sightings” were reported far and wide. A pair of colorful lawmen found Clara in an unlikely hiding place and brought her back to Ardmore, Oklahoma to face the charge of first-degree murder. What followed was one of the most sensational murder trials of the era. A “dream team” of powerful lawyers surrounded Clara in the courtroom. Soon Hollywood came calling, wanting to put Clara’s story on the big screen…starring Clara as herself.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A potent, nearly perfect brew of politics, murder, mayhem, and mystery." -- Kirkus Reviews

"The author's attention to detail and skilled storytelling give readers the feeling that they are viewing the series of events close up, in real-time; an exceptionally well-told story of a man who was consumed with power and a young woman who was driven to a desperate and unbelievable crime of passion. Highly recommended!" -- The Columbia Review

"David Stokes has done it again with Jake & Clara." -- DAVID PIETRUSZA, author of "1932, The Rise of Hitler & FDR"

"David Stokes is a rare talent. His fiction reads like true life, and his nonfiction has the brilliant feeling that the story once appeared on the front page of the New York Times. Jake and Clara may be written like a novel, but it presents a vivid portrait of America during its most colorful and turbulent era. Stokes cuts through the glitter and the gloss and unmasks the corruption and the murder that would leave lasting scars on the last great and hedonistic days of America before the worm turned and the Great Depression left it in ruin." -- Caleb Pirtle, VENTURE GALLERIES

Kirkus Reviews
2015-12-15
Stokes' (How to Keep Calm and Carry On, 2014, etc.) crisp work of historical fiction animates the most sensational homicide trial in the criminal annals of Oklahoma. It's a familiar story. A middle-aged man falls in love with a much younger woman, and they carry on for years, until stronger passions, such as the desire for power and fame, conflict with what passes for love. It's worth noting that the middle-aged man in this true story was "the Oil King of Oklahoma," Jacob "Jake" Hamon, slated to be a member of President Warren Harding's cabinet until his megalomania and other character failings derailed his ambitions and ended up costing him his life. Hamon was 37, and his paramour, Clara Smith, was just 17 when she came to his attention. Never mind that he was a prominent Republican and a married man with two children, Jake installs his mistress in a hotel suite in the Oklahoma town of Ardmore. Clara, for her part, is no wide-eyed ingénue , exploiting Hamon's riches to pad her own purse. Eventually Jake's megalomania kicks in, and he dumps Clara for political gain only to have her fatally shoot him. Stokes' tightly paced narrative keeps humming even when it's focused not just on the sensational crime, but all associated players as well. Especially impressive is the nuanced character development—there are no uniformly good or bad guys here; even Jake's long-suffering wife exploits his death to raise her own social standing. Despite a lag in the action toward the end—when the story focuses on the aftermath of the shooting and Clara's 15 minutes of fame—it's a revealing exercise in the way public opinion can make or break one person's fortunes. A relevant lesson in today's hashtag-driven pop-culture world.A potent, nearly perfect brew of politics, murder, mayhem, and mystery.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780996989213
Publisher:
Critical Mass Press
Publication date:
11/26/2015
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
350
File size:
866 KB

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Meet the Author

DAVID R. STOKES is a bestselling author, ordained minister, commentator, broadcaster, and columnist. He and his wife Karen have seven wonderful grandchildren and live in the Washington, DC area. His personal website is: www.davidrstokes.com.

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Jake & Clara: Scandal, Politics, Hollywood and Murder 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
booklover- More than 1 year ago
Jake & Clara is based on a true story. It has all the elements that are guaranteed to keep the reader riveted to their story .... scandal, politics, corruption, sex, murder. Jake Hamon was a rich and powerful man in Oklahoma who deposited millions of dollars in Warren Hardings coffers when he was elected president. Harding was set to make Jake even more powerful than he already was. But there was a glitch ... Mrs. Harding, who was extremely straight-laced, let it be known that the much-married Jake would have to dump his then mistress, Clara. Jake loved Clara, but he loved money and power and prestige more. He dumped her and moved on. Clara was a tad upset ... a few days later she shot and killed Jake... and then ran for her life. A national hunt for the murderess ensued ... which finally located her and brought her back to face the music. From the Book: "What followed was one of the most sensational murder trials of the era. A “dream team” of powerful lawyers surrounded Clara in the courtroom. Soon Hollywood came calling, wanting to put Clara’s story on the big screen...…starring Clara as herself. What a terrific book ... a great story .... a wonderful look at life in the 20s. In today's world, this wouldn't even make it to Page One. Jake and Clara were a great love story ... until his greed took over their lives ..and his death. Their story was extremely well written .. bringing to life the era of the 1920s. Once started, I absolutely could not put it down. Highly recommend this one to anyone who likes true crime or likes to read about the world before we got here. Many heartfelt thanks to the author and Wordslinger Publicity who furnished an ARC in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.