Electrifying, compelling, and ultimately terrifying, Two Trains Running is a galvanizing
evocation of that moment in our history when the violent forces that would
determine America’s future were just beginning to roil below the surface.
Once a devastated mill town, by 1959 Locke City has
established itself as a thriving center of vice tourism. The city is controlled
by boss Royal Beaumont, who took it by force many years ago and has held it
against all comers since.
Now his domain is being threatened by an invading crime syndicate.
But in a town where crime and politics are virtually indivisible, there are
other players awaiting their turn onstage. Emmett Till’s lynching has inflamed
a nascent black revolutionary movement. A neo-Nazi organization is preparing
for race war. Juvenile gangs are locked in a death struggle over useless pieces
of “turf.” And some shadowy group is supplying them all with weapons. With an
IRA unit and a Mafia family also vying for local supremacy, it’s no surprise
that the whole town is under FBI surveillance. But that agency is being
Beaumont ups the ante by importing a hired killer, Walker
Dett, a master tactician whose trademark is wholesale destruction. But there
are a number of wild cards in this game, including Jimmy Procter, an investigative
reporter whose tools include stealth, favor-trading, and blackmail, and Sherman
Layne, the one clean Locke City cop, whose informants range from an obsessed
“watcher” who patrols the edge of the forest, where cars park for only one
reason, to the madam of the county’s most expensive bordello. But Layne is
guarding a secret of his own, one that could destroy more than his career. Even
the most innocent are drawn into the ultimate-stakes game—like Tussy Chambers,
the beautiful waitress whose mystically deep connection with Walker Dett might
inadvertently ignite the whole combustible mix.
In a stunning departure from his usual territory, Andrew
Vachss gives us a masterful novel that is also an epic story of postwar
America. Not since Dashiell Hammett’s Red
Harvest has there been as searing a portrait of corruption in a small town.
This is Vachss’s most ambitious, innovative, and explosive work yet. Download and start listening now!