King Zeno by Nathaniel Rich

King Zeno

New Orleans, 1918. The birth of jazz, the Spanish flu, an ax murderer on the loose. The lives of a traumatized cop, a conflicted Mafia matriarch, and a brilliant trumpeter converge--and the Crescent City gets the rich, dark, sweeping novel it so deserves.From one of the most inventive writers of his generation, King Zeno is a historical crime novel and a searching inquiry into man's dreams of immortality.New Orleans, a century ago: a city determi...

Details King Zeno

TitleKing Zeno
Release DateJan 9th, 2018
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Literature, 21st Century, The United States Of America, Crime

Reviews King Zeno

  • Meike
    New Orleans in 1918/1919: Jazz is on the rise, construction for the great industrial canal begins, and the city is terrorized by an ax murderer – all of these things really happened, and Nathaniel Rich mixes fact with fiction when he interweaves three narrative threads circling around those events. Isadore “King” Zeno is a struggling jazz musician who tries to break through as a cornet player while finding ways to provide for his family. Wh...
  • Sam
    Set in the New Orleans of the early twentieth century (summer 1918 to be precise), it follows the intertwined tales of three fictional characters, as they navigate the brothels of Storyville, bayous, the reek of the slums, concert halls, city jail, and the Mafia, while coping with the real-life reality of the Spanish Flu and the “Axman of New Orleans” decimating the city population. There is also rising racial tension between the police and t...
  • Annie
    Nathaniel Rich’s King Zeno is the second novel I’ve read recently that takes on the Axeman Murders of New Orleans—which is fitting since it’s been a century since the still-unsolved murders were committed. (Read my review of The Axeman, by Ray Celestin.) This fictional take on the murders rotates between a police officer with PTSD, a widow who heads a major construction project in the city, and a jazz cornet player. King Zeno is stuffed w...
  • Cindy
    I’m a fan of New Orleans. There’s good and there’s bad but there’s always the magical, especially about the past. Like the primordial swamp, there are layers upon layers, forests upon forests and people, their lives and loves, upon each other. The author captures the mood of a city in the swamp wanting to rise above those layers, the past, like the mud, tugging them back. Their struggle is the story. Rich is able to paint a picture of thi...
  • Kim McGee
    New Orleans 1918A city of new beginnings now that the war is over and the birth of Jazz has begun to catch on or is it a city sliding back into the swamp facing corruption, racial tension and murder? Jazz is the newest thing to catch fire but few musicians can make a living of it. Instead they must act as laborers building the new canal or fall into illegal means that make more money. The Spanish Flu is sweeping through the city taking it's toll ...
  • Trina
    Good mystery novel set in New Orleans in 1919. Characters are interesting but the plots get a bit thick. Mostly I was interested in the settings because I’m fascinated by Nola history, and that part of the book was well done. Mysteries are always hard for me to read because I just read continuously until I finish. I prefer novels I can savor a bit more.
  • nikkia neil
    Thanks Farrar, Straus and Giroux and netgalley for this ARC.King Zeno is like no other book I've read about New Orleans. Its dirty, gritty, and real. This is not glamorous look at jazz, war, or the cops.
  • Michael
    My review for this book was published on December 4, 2017, by Library Journal:In this deft historical thriller, Rich (Odds Against Tomorrow) seamlessly blends fact with fiction as three characters attempt to secure their legacies in the shadow of a gruesome murder, with post–World War I New Orleans as the backdrop. During the summer of 1918, with the Spanish flu spreading rapidly and a weird new music catching on, an ax-wielding serial killer i...