Devil's Garden: Book summary and reviews of Devil's Garden by Ace Atkins

Devil's Garden

by Ace Atkins

Devil's Garden by Ace Atkins
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2009
    368 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

San Francisco, September 1921: Silent-screen comedy star Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle is throwing a wild party in his suite at the St. Francis Hotel: girls, jazz, bootleg hooch . . . and a dead actress named Virginia Rappe. The D.A. says it was Arbuckle who killed her—crushing her under his weight—and brings him up on manslaughter charges. William Randolph Hearst’s newspapers stir up the public and demand a guilty verdict. But what really happened? Why do so many people at the party seem to have stories that conflict? Why is the prosecution hiding witnesses? Why are there body parts missing from the autopsied corpse? Why is Hearst so determined to see Fatty Arbuckle convicted?

In desperation, Arbuckle’s defense team hires a Pinkerton agent to do an investigation of his own and, they hope, discover the truth. The agent’s name is Dashiell Hammett, and he’s the book’s narrator. What he discovers will change American legal history—and his own life—forever.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [A]n outstanding crime novel...those familiar with the historical case will be impressed by how well the book meshes fact and fiction." - Publishers Weekly.

"Sure to appeal to Hollywood buffs and mystery readers alike." - Library Journal.

"As in his earlier historical novels, Atkins again proves a meticulous researcher, but here he does an even better job of melding that research into a lively, atmospheric narrative." - Booklist.

"Atkins writes so well that some readers - but not all - will forget to ask if that's enough to validate time spent with irredeemable lowlifes in a modern-day Sodom." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Ace Atkins earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination in 2001 for his investigation into a forgotten murder of the 1950s that became the basis for his novel White Shadow. His next novel, Wicked City, was based on the true story of "the Wickedest City in America" - Phoenix City, Alabama. He is also the author of four Nick Travers novels.

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