Jack Pagano has always felt he is different. Smart and physically talented, the normal pursuits of youth—women and sports—have always come a little too easy to him and left him unfilled. At age seventeen, Jack is eager to leave high school and begin his college career.
But the schooling that lies ahead of him is of a far different variety than he could have ever imagined.
Albert Anastasia, the notorious leader of Murder, Inc, appears and claims Pagano as his son. But before Jack can make heads or tails of his newfound father, Anastasia is gunned down at the Park Sheraton Hotel.
Under the tutelage of his late father’s associates, Meyer Lansky and Frank Costello, Jack enters a world where crime and politics, money and murder, and the American way of life are all but a hand’s breadth apart and inextricably linked.
At the same time, another father is grooming his son to further his plans: Joseph Kennedy, the patriarch of what will become America’s ruling dynasty, has set his sights on the White House—and with the help of some old friends in Chicago, his son, also Jack, will rise to power.
Then, one autumn day in Dallas, the sins of the father are borne by the son and the world learns that greed can make anyone expendable— even the President of the United States.