World War I is ending, and a prosperous new age dawns in New Orleans—until everything is thrown into chaos by a series of ax murders committed by a maniac with peculiar taste in music. Detective William Bastrop is a veteran haunted by an act of wartime cowardice, bent on redemption. Isadore Zeno is a jazz cornetist with a dangerous side hustle. Beatrice Vizzini is the widow of a crime boss who yearns to take the family business straight. Each nurtures private dreams of worldly glory and eternal life, but in this panoramic novel, their ambitions may lead to obsession, paranoia, and madness.
"Full of sharply rendered characters, gallows humor and finely observed descriptions…. A remarkable achievement."—Washington Post