The Ivory Coast (Hardcover)
Minotaur Books, 9780312274641, 416pp.
Publication Date: February 1, 2002
It is 1955 in Las Vegas. Sammy and Satchmo are headlining the big hotels - where the casino operators and the color bar say a black man can't buy a drink or a meal or a room. Until now. The Chicago mob man Mo Weiner is bankrolling ex-boxer Worthless Worthington Lee and the city's first all-black hotel-casino. The Ivory Coast is rising up from the dust, on the wrong side of town. And out of the shadows steps Deacon, a white horn player with a dark past and a genius for jazz. Mo mistakes him for a hitman. Worthless takes him for a friend. Anita, the mixed-race beauty he falls for, wants him for herself. And Haney, the corrupt and racist copy who runs this hot desert oasis of sin and sand, wants him rubbed out. Deacon is holding a dangerous hand, and a dangerous secret, spun inside a deadly web of deceit and double-crosses. The Ivory Coast is coming, rushing this sprawling drama toward the last Sunday in May, when the whole town will be black and white and blood-red all over...
A suspenseful first novel of remarkable imagination, scope and energy, The Ivory Coast is impossible to ignore and, once begun, impossible to resist.