Book Description In the early days of Prohibition, long before Al Capone became a household name, a German immigrant named George Remus quits practicing law and starts trafficking whiskey. Within two years he's a multi-millionaire. The press calls him "King of the Bootleggers," writing breathless stories about the Gatsby-esque events he and his glamorous second wife, Imogene, host at their Cincinnati mansion, with party favors ranging from diamond jewelry for the men to brand-new Pontiacs for the women. By the summer of 1921, Remus owns 35 percent of all the liquor in the United States.
Pioneering prosecutor Mabel Walker Willebrandt is determined to bring him down. Willebrandt's bosses at the U.S. Attorney's office hired her right out of law school, assuming she'd pose no real threat to the cozy relationship they maintain with Remus. Eager to prove them wrong, she dispatches her best investigator, Franklin Dodge, to look into his empire. It's a decision with deadly consequences: with Remus behind bars, Franklin and Imogene begin an affair and plot to ruin him, sparking a bitter feud that soon reaches the highest levels of government--and that can only end in murder.
Combining deep historical research with novelistic flair, THE GHOSTS OF EDEN PARK is the unforgettable, stranger-than-fiction story of a rags-to-riches entrepreneur and a long-forgotten heroine, of the excesses and absurdities of the Jazz Age, and of the infinite human capacity to deceive.
"Prose so rich and evocative, you feel you're living the story—and full of lots of 'I didn't know that' moments. Gatsby-era noir at its best."
— Erik Larson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake and The Devil in the White City
"Karen Abbott has long shown a formidable talent for rescuing Gothic stories from the noirish margins of American history. In The Ghosts of Eden Park, she’s done it once again. Here is a high-proof narrative from the Age of Excess, populated with real-life gangsters and flapper girls, but also with plenty of surprising characters who cut against type. This Prohibition-era tale of trapdoors and false bottoms, of wicked pleasures and brilliant deceptions, springs to life on the page—and has Hollywood written all over it.”
— Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of In the Kingdom of Ice
“In Karen Abbott’s hands, the saga of bootlegger George Remus is more than just a rollicking tale of money, obsession, and murder (although it is certainly that), it’s nonfiction’s answer to The Great Gatsby and an instant classic. Scrupulously researched and packed with jaw-dropping details, The Ghosts of Eden Park is the most thrilling narrative I have read in a long time.”
— Gilbert King, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Devil in the Grove and Beneath a Ruthless Sun
“A stellar achievement. Like a skilled bartender in an underground speakeasy, Karen Abbott expertly blends superb storytelling with immersive historical detail to create a heady cocktail of bootlegging, betrayal and blood-dark passion. So vivid is the world she conjures that I could viscerally taste the whiskey and smell the sweat - and hear the gunshots too. The Ghosts of Eden Park has that bittersweet brilliance of all great books: though I couldn't stop turning the pages, I never wanted it to end.'
— Kate Moore, New York Times bestselling author of The Radium Girls
“Few authors write as colorfully and compellingly about the past as Karen Abbott, particularly when bad behavior is involved. In The Ghosts of Eden Park, we meet the audacious, larger-than-life ‘King of the Bootleggers,’ George Remus, and the equally fascinating women who will seal his fate. Sex and greed, corruption and revenge, oceans of illegal booze—Abbott’s action-packed, riveting tale has it all.”
— Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife and Love and Ruin
“The Ghosts of Eden Park is a story so strange, so salacious, it nearly defies belief. Exquisitely crafted and expertly rendered, this book weds high drama to rigorous scholarship. Karen Abbott has mastered the art of telling true stories as riveting and suspenseful as fiction.”
— Lindsey Fitzharris, bestselling author of The Butchering Art
“With The Ghosts of Eden Park, Karen Abbott gifts us with a story of sex, madness, and murder in Jazz-Age America that is as intoxicating as a hit of bootlegged bourbon. In Abbott’s hands truth is not only stranger than fiction, it’s also a hell of a lot more thrilling. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.”
— Susannah Cahalan, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Brain On Fire