From the black jazz clubs on Central Avenue in Watts, to the tidy homes of the war widows he cons, Louis Greenberg lives life on the outside. No matter how charming and passionate he is, an outsider he will always be. He is white, a Jew, and that never goes away.
It is 1948. An impulsive, irrevocable decision has led to Louis' permanent exile from his family back in New York. Six years later, his father's disappointment still haunts him. Living a fractured, confusing life in Los Angeles, Louis moves between worlds. By day he is a c-man, artfully conning the relatives of men killed in action in World War II out of their cash, preying upon their memories and pain. By night he enters the only world where he is truly alive. In the all-black underground clubs of L.A. he nurtures his passion for bebop, listening to and playing cutting-edge jazz. Here he is still an outsider, but he has won acceptance - to a point. Here, he meets the woman he loves, but can never truly have, in the segregated world of the forties.
As Louis navigates the treacherous waters of jazz and women, passion and cynicism, he will try for one big con to put his troubled life to rights - but the many dissonant threads of past and present will come together, ensnaring him in a web of his own making.
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EARLY BRIGHTUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
In 1948 Los Angeles, a white grifter haunts black jazz clubs and dreams of bebop fame.Louis Greenberg is a New Yorker by birth, but after a scandal involving his fitness for wartime military service ... Read full review
Early BrightUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
The year is 1948, the place is Los Angeles, and the name of the game is survival. Con man Louis Greenberg supplements his swindles with occasional gigs in underground jazz clubs as he tries to break ... Read full review