Two Irish brothers journey from New York's East River to its halls of power in this "masterwork of historical fiction" by the author of Dreamland (Parade).
Inspired by one of the great, unsolved murders in mob history, this novel tells the sweeping story of Charlie O'Kane, a poor Irish immigrant who works his way up from beat cop to mayor of New York at the city's postwar zenith. Famous, powerful, and married to a fashion model, millions of local citizens look up to him, including his younger brother, Tomuntil he is accused of abetting a shocking crime.
The charges stem from his days as a crusading Brooklyn DA, when he sent the notorious killers of Murder, Inc., to the chaironly to let a vital witness fall to his death while under police guard. Now out of office, Charlie is hiding from the authorities in a Mexico City hotel. To uncover what really happened, Tom must confront stunning truths about his brother, himself, and the secret workings of the great city he loves.
From the Brooklyn waterfront to City Hall, the battlefields of World War II to the glamorous nightclubs of 1940s Manhattan, The Big Crowd is filled with powerbrokers and gangsters, celebrities and socialites, scheming cardinals and battling dockside priests. But ultimately it is an American story of the bonds and betrayals of brotherhoodfrom "the lit world's sharpest chronicler of New York's past" (Rolling Stone).