The Dark Heart of Night

1937. Murder before breakfast. A beer and a beating for lunch. Just don’t be late for dinner or a deadline.

In the midst of their daily assignments covering murder and mayhem as well as the political machinations of LaGuardia’s New York, Hugh McNeill, a young press photographer for the New York Daily Mirror has fallen in love with Cass Green, a crusading reporter for the same paper.

While pursuing a serial killer and possible prostitute apparently doing away with her clients one by one, they probe the supposed suicide of a young lawyer fighting anti-Semitism.
Their city editor, The Boss, tries at first to separate them and then, giving that up as a lost cause, throws them together for the chase.
Cass’s investigation of a high-end madam results in the attentions of a rogue mobster who has been moving in on the Lucky Luciano prostitution rackets and is now trying to kill her.
An investigation of the German American Bund makes Cass a target of Nazi spies. Meanwhile, one after another, bodies continue to turn up, and Cass’s relentless investigation leads her ever closer to the probable killer, a psychotic Stalinist attempting to eliminate Trotskyite traitors to the cause of the Comintern.

It’s the time of hard-bitten city editors and soft-hearted molls, of Bogey and The Babe, when Walter Winchell’s On Broadway and Al Capp’s Li’l Abner pay the bills for William Randolph Hearst while the nation moves to the beat of Benny Goodman and George Gershwin.

It’s the hour of Howard Hughes and Katharine Hepburn, Stanwyck, Astaire and Welles, when the DC-3 arose, the Hindenburg fell, the 20th Century Limited departed and Superman arrives in the nick of time.

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Praise for Vincent McCaffrey’s Writing

“McCaffrey is never cloying or playing to demographic. He’s just telling a compelling, old-school yarn, the kind of story a man who knows his literature tells.”

Time Out Chicago

“Vincent McCaffrey is obviously a man so well read that he seems to have gleaned a deep understanding of human nature from his studies. His characters are appealing and sympathetic and his story well plotted. I look forward to his next novel after what was a most enjoyable debut.”

Gumshoe Review

“McCaffrey has a gift for crafting quirky characters and original dialogue…”

Anne Fortier

Author of "Juliet"

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