Decades before Las Vegas hit its stride, Hot Springs, Arkansas was home to illegal casinos, countless backrooms and brothels, and some of the country's most bald-faced criminals. It was here that exiled godfather Owney Madden—the former owner of New York's Cotton Club—decided to build the Vapors, a pleasure palace like no other. In telling the story of the venue and the city in their 1930s-50s heyday, David Hill introduces the gamblers, molls, and gangsters that made this town into America's mecca for vice and entertainment.
"Expertly interweaving family memoir, Arkansas politics, and Mafia lore, Hill packs the story full of colorful characters and hair-raising events. This novelistic history hits the jackpot."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)