It is 1955 in Las Vegas, and the Chicago mob man Mo Weiner is bankrolling ex-boxer Worthless Worthington Lee and the city's first all-black hotel-casino. The Ivory Coast is rising up from the dust, on the wrong side of town. And out of the shadows steps Deacon, a white horn player with a dark past and a genius for jazz. Mo mistakes him for a hitman. Worthless takes him for a friend. Anita, the mixed-race beauty he falls for, wants him for herself. And Haney, the corrupt and racist cop who runs this hot desert oasis of sin and sand, wants him rubbed out.
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.79(d)|
About the Author
Charles Fleming is a veteran entertainment industry reporter and the author of After Havana (Minotaur, January 2004), as well as The New York Times bestselling The Goomba's Guide to Life and High Concept: Don Simpson and the Hollywood Culture of Excess.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
You can practically feel the heat of the Nevada desert and the taste of gin in this one. It's a successful return to noir without camp or cliche. There is suspense and a bit of the whodunit, all within a stylised yarn of Las Vegas, but it's also evocative and suffused with Hopperesque light and characters. If the ending is improbable and clumsy, it's still worth the trip to get there.
In 1955, trumpet player Deacon rides the bus from Chicago to Las Vegas. He barely disembarks from the bus when Mo ¿the man¿ Weiner pages him. Deacon knows you always respond when someone called ¿the man¿ wants to see you and immediately does. Mo orders Deacon to drive two hours to Shipton Wells where he is to warn someone to go back to Los Angeles. Deacon does the job, but someone else shoots the man anyway. Deacon grabs the man¿s suitcase and asks Anita, a waitress he just met, to stash it for him. Deacon realizes everyone in Vegas tries to manipulate the odds. Mo is the front for the Chicago and Los Angeles mobs and plans to make a killing on a new casino, THE IVORY COAST, that he will open in the Black West Side of town. Worthless Worthington Jones is his front with his own contrivance for a killing. Police chief Haney has his schemes to trump everyone else. All three intersect with Deacon and that suitcase he lifted, making life dangerous for the horn player. Though Deacon trusting Anita with the booty he snatched seems strained, readers will find Charles Flemming¿s debut novel a fascinating look at 1950¿s Las Vegas. The story line is so rich with history that it makes it possible for the audience to roll with high rollers and observe the Black stars unable to eat or sleep where they performed. THE IVORY COAST is a tremendous historical intrigue that is at its finest with its fifties texture that fans of mid-twentieth century tales will enjoy. Harriet Klausner