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Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo): A Novel
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Bloomsbury Publishing 2015
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The year is 1936. Charles "Lucky" Luciano is the most powerful gangster in America. Thomas E. Dewey is an ambitious young prosecutor hired to bring him down, and Cokey Flo Brown--grifter, heroin addict, and sometimes prostitute--is the witness who claims she can do it. Only a wily defense attorney named George Morton Levy stands between Lucky and a life behind bars, between Dewey and the New York governor's mansion.As the Roaring Twenties give way to the austere reality of the Great Depression, four lives, each on its own incandescent trajectory, intersect in a New York courtroom, introducing America to the violent and darkly glamorous world of organized crime and leaving our culture, laws, and politics forever changed.Based on a trove of newly discovered documents, Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo) tells the true story of a singular trial in American history: an epic clash between a crime-busting district attorney and an all-powerful mob boss who, in the crucible of a Manhattan courtroom, battle for the heart and soul of a dispirited nation. Blending elements of political thriller, courtroom drama, and hard-boiled pulp, author C. Joseph Greaves introduces readers to the likes of Al Capone, Dutch Schultz, Meyer Lansky, and Bugsy Siegel while taking readers behind the scenes of a corrupt criminal justice system in which sinners may be saints and heroes may prove to be the biggest villains of all.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
11/03/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781620407875
ASIN:
B015JJ8THW
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

C. Joseph Greaves. (2015). Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo): A Novel. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

C. Joseph Greaves. 2015. Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo): A Novel. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

C. Joseph Greaves, Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo): A Novel. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

C. Joseph Greaves. Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo): A Novel. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: C. Joseph Greaves is a former L.A. trial lawyer now based in Santa Fe. His discovery of two human skulls in a remote Utah canyon would lead, eighteen years later, to the completion of Hard Twisted, named Best Historical Novel of 2010 in the South West Writers international writing contest, in which Greaves was also honored with the grand-prize Storyteller Award. Greaves is also writing an L.A.-based mystery series; the first installment, Hush Money, will be published by Minotaur in spring 2012. www.chuckgreaves.com
      • name: C. Joseph Greaves
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shortDescription

The year is 1936. Charles "Lucky" Luciano is the most powerful gangster in America. Thomas E. Dewey is an ambitious young prosecutor hired to bring him down, and Cokey Flo Brown--grifter, heroin addict, and sometimes prostitute--is the witness who claims she can do it. Only a wily defense attorney named George Morton Levy stands between Lucky and a life behind bars, between Dewey and the New York governor's mansion.

As the Roaring Twenties give way to the austere reality of the Great Depression, four lives, each on its own incandescent trajectory, intersect in a New York courtroom, introducing America to the violent and darkly glamorous world of organized crime and leaving our culture, laws, and politics forever changed.

Based on a trove of newly discovered documents, Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo) tells the true story of a singular trial in American history: an epic clash between a crime-busting district attorney and an...

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True
title
Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo)
fullDescription

The year is 1936. Charles "Lucky" Luciano is the most powerful gangster in America. Thomas E. Dewey is an ambitious young prosecutor hired to bring him down, and Cokey Flo Brown--grifter, heroin addict, and sometimes prostitute--is the witness who claims she can do it. Only a wily defense attorney named George Morton Levy stands between Lucky and a life behind bars, between Dewey and the New York governor's mansion.

As the Roaring Twenties give way to the austere reality of the Great Depression, four lives, each on its own incandescent trajectory, intersect in a New York courtroom, introducing America to the violent and darkly glamorous world of organized crime and leaving our culture, laws, and politics forever changed.

Based on a trove of newly discovered documents, Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo) tells the true story of a singular trial in American history: an epic clash between a crime-busting district attorney and an all-powerful mob boss who, in the crucible of a Manhattan courtroom, battle for the heart and soul of a dispirited nation. Blending elements of political thriller, courtroom drama, and hard-boiled pulp, author C. Joseph Greaves introduces readers to the likes of Al Capone, Dutch Schultz, Meyer Lansky, and Bugsy Siegel while taking readers behind the scenes of a corrupt criminal justice system in which sinners may be saints and heroes may prove to be the biggest villains of all.

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Wall Street Journal
      • content: Greaves is a helluva good storyteller . . . [His novel] infuses popular history with the wild energy of a 1930s Warner Bros. crime movie.
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: A novel of mobsters, madams, and manipulative lawyers in 1930s New York . . . Greaves' impressive research illuminates many aspects of this long-ago legal spectacular. Yet he achieves his most telling effects with his imaginative renderings of the eponymous quartet.
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content: The book begins in 1914, taking readers through the trial and its immediate aftermath with the precision of a historical account and the sensitivity of character-driven fiction . . . Legal thriller and true crime readers alike will appreciate the results of Greaves's formidable efforts.
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        October 1, 2015

        On May 13, 1936, a trial began in New York City that pitted the talents of Manhattan special prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey against those of defense attorney George Morton Levy; this celebrated case against Charles "Lucky" Luciano would rocket Dewey to celebrity status and eventually help him become governor of New York. Four weeks later Luciano was found guilty of some 90 counts of compulsory prostitution, his conviction aided in large part by the testimony of onetime madam Cokey Flo Brown. Focusing on these four characters, Greaves (Hard Twisted) adeptly threads back to the early years of their respective careers in justice and crime to provide readers with a behind-the-scenes portrayal of the circumstances that led to the climactic point at which their lives briefly intersected. The book begins in 1914, taking readers through the trial and its immediate aftermath with the precision of a historical account and the sensitivity of character-driven fiction. VERDICT Legal thriller and true crime readers alike will appreciate the results of Greaves's formidable efforts.--Nancy McNicol, Hamden P.L., CT

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        September 21, 2015
        In this historical crime novel, Greaves (Hard Twisted) sets four real-life Jazz Age figures on a collision course. We witness Sicilian immigrant Salvatore Lucania becoming New York mobster legend Charlie “Lucky” Luciano; Nassau County lawyer George Morton Levy growing a reputation for being a peerless defense attorney; ambitious Thomas E. Dewey being named special prosecutor for New York County, with an eye on the governor’s mansion; and Cokey Flo Brown, a grifter, madame, and heroin addict, running a brothel in New York City. After a long preamble, the story settles down in 1936, when Dewey tries to use Cokey Flo’s testimony to bust Luciano, who hires Levy for his defense. The novel begins with cinematic scenes that crisply encapsulate the personalities of its four main characters. But in relating so much early mob history, the author seems to be merely recycling elements already familiar from The Cotton Club and Boardwalk Empire. And once Luciano’s trial gets underway, the narrative becomes much too reliant on actual court transcripts. The trial itself is not especially dramatic and ends on an anticlimactic note, which buries the author’s thesis: that the verdict was ultimately based on Luciano and Dewey switching roles, with the former acting like a gentleman in court and the later making like a gangster behind the scenes. There are some flashes of snappy dialogue, and the setting is nicely evoked, but the writing is too flat and never fully takes off.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 1, 2015
        A novel of mobsters, madams, and manipulative lawyers in 1930s New York. Greaves, who when using "Chuck" as his byline specializes in hard-boiled legal thrillers set in Southern California, publishes under his statelier moniker this fact-based, multilayered historical novel about the 1936 trial of Salvatore Lucania, aka Charles "Lucky" Luciano, the most powerful crime boss in America, who was charged with, and later convicted on, 62 counts of compulsory prostitution. The aforementioned layers are separate narratives, each with a distinctive tone and point of view, which are woven together to show how the destinies of four very different, driven people converged at that trial and were, to varying degrees, transformed by it. Chief among them is "Charlie Lucky" himself, who achieves his reputation-and his nickname-through a potent combination of hooded-eyed menace, coldblooded pragmatism, and an implacable aptitude for survival. Such gifts enable Luciano to outlast and outwit any and all challengers to his unofficial title of "boss of bosses" until he meets his most formidable (and unlikely) foe: Thomas E. Dewey, the young, prim, baritone-voiced special prosecutor, whose ruthless pursuit of Luciano's conviction, if successful, could propel him to the governor's mansion-and, quite possibly, beyond. Opposing Dewey is Luciano's lawyer, George Morton Levy, an astute Long Island litigator whose meticulousness in preparation is often countered by a gambler's attraction to the big risk. ("I never seem to know when to quit while I'm ahead," he confesses to a colleague after a rare loss.) Last and certainly not least is one of the prosecution's star witnesses: Cokey Flo Brown, a heroin addict and recidivist prostitute, who, despite showing the physical and emotional effects of a rough-and-tumble life, "is brassy and shrewd, with a wharf rat's instinct for self-preservation." Hers is the testimony that turns the tide against Luciano to the point where Levy reluctantly lets his client testify on his own behalf, "with foreseeably disastrous results" Greaves' impressive research illuminates many aspects of this long-ago legal spectacular. Yet he achieves his most telling effects with his imaginative renderings of the eponymous quartet-especially Lucky and Cokey Flo, though you wish there were some more of George.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

subtitle
A Novel
popularity
25
publisher
Bloomsbury Publishing
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