Picks and Pans Review: The Paradise Rehearsal Club

updated 03/01/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/01/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Alan and Margaret Cronin Fisk

A husband-and-wife writing team has produced an entertaining first novel that has a brisk narrative force. Set in New York during the '20s and peopled with the likes of William Randolph Hearst, Legs Diamond and Mayor Jimmy Walker and his Tammany cohorts, it is a tale of two lusty, not overly principled lovers. He's a handsome, streetwise refugee from Hell's Kitchen who runs a gambling and bootlegging empire. She's a willful, thrill-seeking debutante who finds her match in the gangster. Together they tumble into a thicket of intrigue, murder and corruption, wisecracking their way into imaginative escapes and each other's arms. The plot isn't new—parts of it resemble The Sting, for instance—but the dialogue is original, and there are enough daring twists to keep you turning through all 471 pages. (Summit, $15.50)

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