The Angel Gang
“Turn on the radio, would you, Denny? … Find something loud, with horns.” So begins this Jazz Age crime drama. It’s a time of contradictions, with music blaring out Americans’ emergence from post-World War I senseless chaos and death. Its softer sounds reflect the entire country’s yearning for peace and prosperity.
Tom Hickey, a clarinetist and saxophonist, has found such a place of deep love and contentment with his wife, Wendy. In the final days before their son Clifford’s birth, Hickey gets an upsetting telephone call about an old girlfriend, Cynthia Tucker Jones, who’s been accused of arson and murder. Wendy encourages the caring, capable, former private investigator to use his formidable skills to help Cynthia. But little does Wendy know that his decision will spin him back into a world of enemies, rivals, Mafia-type underworld residents and a multitude of other shady characters.
While this drama plays out, including several kidnappings and violent encounters affecting even Wendy herself, the reader receives a small dose of historical events that weakly tie into the actual story. The Angel Gang is a phenomenal crime novel but very light historical fiction.