Legs by William Kennedy
Legs inaugurated William Kennedy's brilliant cycle of novels (including Billy Phelan's Greatest Game and Ironweed) set in Albany, New York. True to both life and myth, Legs brilliantly evokes the flamboyant career of the legendary gangster Jack "Legs" Diamond, who was finally murdered in Albany. Through the equivocal eyes of Diamond's attorney, Marcus Gorman (who scraps a promising political career for the more elemental excitement of the criminal underworld), we watch as Legs and his showgirl mistress, Kiki Roberts, blaze their gaudy trail across the tabloid pages of the 1920s and 1930s. Diamond and his gangster entourage emerge as emblematic figures from an era of American innocence-and corruption.