From the critically acclaimed, award-nominated author comes a new noir crime classic about one of the most notorious trials in American history.
Critics called Ace Atkinsâ€™s Wicked City â€śgripping, superbâ€ť (Library Journal), â€śstunningâ€ť (The Tampa Tribune), â€śterrificâ€ť (Associated Press), â€śrivetingâ€ť (Kirkus Reviews), â€świcked goodâ€ť (Fort Worth Star-Telegram), and â€śAtkinsâ€™ best novelâ€ť (The Washington Post). But Devilâ€™s Garden is something else again.
San Francisco, September 1921: Silent-screen comedy star Roscoe â€śFattyâ€ť Arbuckle is throwing a wild party in his suite at the St. Francis Hotel: girls, jazz, bootleg hoochâ€¦ and a dead actress named Virginia Rappe. The D.A. says it was Arbuckle who killed herâ€”crushing her under his weightâ€”and brings him up on manslaughter charges. William Randolph Hearstâ€™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, Arbuckleâ€™s defense team hires a Pinkerton agent to do an investigation of his own and, they hope, discover the truth. The agentâ€™s name is Dashiell Hammett, and heâ€™s the bookâ€™s narrator. What he discovers will change American legal historyâ€”and his own lifeâ€”forever.
â€śThe historical accuracy isnâ€™t what elevates Atkinsâ€™ prose to greatness,â€ť said The Tampa Tribune. â€śItâ€™s his ability to let these characters breathe in a way that few authors could ever imagine. He doesnâ€™t so much write them as unleash them upon the page.â€ť You will not soon forget the extraordinary characters and events in Devilâ€™s Garden.