Kansas City, Missouri, 1929
Trey Dunham, a mid-level cog in the Pendergast Machine during Prohibition, runs 1520 Main, Boss Tom’s most prized speakeasy featuring good booze, hot jazz, and beautiful women. Trey wants to buy the joint and scrapes together every penny he can by running errands, guns, and booze. But every time he hits the sale price, Boss Tom jacks it up, keeping Trey digging holes in Brush Creek and making sure all the dead folks in Jackson County get to the polls. Twice.
Then Boss Tom, seeing an opportunity to avenge an ancient grudge against one Reverend Gil Scarritt, offers 1520 Main as bait. If Trey can get the good reverend’s daughter Marina knocked up without marrying her, Tom’ll give Trey the bar lock, stock, and barrel. If he fails, Boss Tom will never sell it to him at any price.
Trey never samples his own wares and he never bets against the house. But Tom’s an inveterate–and very bad–gambler, and Trey’s got several other reasons to take that bet because he’s only ever wanted two things:
Money and respectability.
And he doesn’t care what he has to do to get them.