A Southern Family, the New York Mob, and the Rise and Fall of Hot Springs – America’s Forgotten Capital of Vice
A bit of a departure here – crime history for your consideration.
The place at play in this book is Hot Springs, Arkansas, when it was a sanctum of gambling and horse racing, organized crime and loan sharks, hustlers and button men.
From the 1930s to 1960s, it was jazz, glamour and comedians. The place to hide-out or the place to be seen. And The Vapors was the most glamorous of casinos, rivaling anything that Las Vegas had to offer.
Arkansas native David Hill follows three characters in the telling of this place and time in history: his grandmother Hazel Hill, Owney Madden of Cotton Club infamy, and Dane Harris, a leader of the National Crime Syndicate.
This narrative novel is part political history, part chronicle, and all interesting. I enjoyed learning about this place in time and you might as well.
~ June Lorraine
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11 responses to “David Hill: The Vapors”
I didn’t realize Hot Springs rivalled Las Vegas. Sounds like interesting history there – and in this novel, too!
I know right, total surprise for me as well.
I’ve never heard of ‘Hot Springs’ before. This book is going on my tbr pile!
June, would you have an email for David Hill as I would like to contact him. My family lived in Hot Springs for 20 some years over a 30 year span from 1980 to 2012. I know a lot of people related to people from the “old days”, though Hot Springs still exhibits traits of its old self today. I particularly have connections to his great Aunt and good friends of his family. Thank you. PS – I just finished the book and kept finding new connections to people and places I knew. But, David, no mention of McClard’s?
Hello Doug, I don’t have an email address for David, but his website: davidhillonline.com has a form on his contact page. In addition if you’re on Twitter you could message him: @davehill77. Good luck and thanks for reaching out 🙂
I’m all in on this one, June. I have a fetish for 30s gangsters. It’s weird. For instance, I know all about Hot Springs and it’s connection to the Kansas City Massacre and the creation of the FBI. I told you…I’m a nerd on that stuff.
Okay, call it awesome that you know about this. 🙂 It was such an interesting time so I get your facination for it. Hope you enjoy the book and let me know how it goes.
This book sounds really interesting! I’ve been to Hot Springs and we toured the old baths that are open (not functioning). Hard to imagine those deserted places in their heyday. There’s a beautiful old-fashioned VA hospital there too–of the golden brick, red tile roof era. V
Hi Vicky, I think you’ll enjoy this book. How great that you’ve seen the VA hospital 🙂