Over a series of weeks in July of 1987, a dying man sits alone in his apartment. Racing against his imminent death, he tape records a tale of blackmail, deception, and double cross involving the mob and New York’s social elite. Twenty years later, the tapes are played for the first time and his son listens to his father’s unexpected and increasingly horrifying confession of his unwilling ride taken on the night of August 16, 1954. His father’s companion was an arsonist and the two men’s destination is the infamous Piping Rock Casino in Saratoga Springs, New York.
The Burning of The Piping Rock is set against the backdrop of the US Senator Kefauver’s efforts throughout 1949-1951 to destroy the hubs of organized crime in America. This included Saratoga Springs, where America’s high society and the mob mingled amidst the glamour of the race track and illegal casinos, yielding a brew of illicit money and corruption. The book is based upon the actual, still-unsolved arson of The Piping Rock Casino. The ride of the two men exposes their very different backgrounds, shaped and misshaped by the Great Depression, the Second World War, and Saratoga Springs. The Burning of The Piping Rock brings them together in way neither could have predicted . . . or wanted.