The Golden Room by Irving Wallace
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First of all I selected this novel which I found in the library rack due to the title "The Golden Room" I have read Steve Berry's Amber Room, and I thought it should be about some historical story related to a Golden Room. But it is not.
The story has five important characters:
1. Mayor Carter Harrison
2. Harold T.Armbuster the meat packer
3. Minna and Aida Lester (Everleigh) the madams of Bordello (Owners of Everleigh club)
4. Dr.Herman H.Holmes (serial killer)
5. Karen Grant (Mayor Harrison Secretary)
The Everleigh club is a famous club in Chicago reputed all over Europe and US. The owners were two widowed sisters Minna and Aida Lester. Mayor Carter Harrison fights for the second term election, he stands on reform platform, his determination is to clean up Chicago and close down the Levee, gambling houses and bagnios and most importantly to shut down the famous Everleigh club. While Armbuster a meat packer is desirous to become the Ambassador of Germany and extend his business empire. He meets Mayor Harrison and contribute a sum of $15,000 for the election campaign through Mayor's alderman John Coughlin and Michael Kenna with assurance that he should be made Ambassador of Germany and host a banquet for Prince of Prussia on his visit to Chicago. Same time Minna Everleigh also contributes $10,000 to defeat Harrison in the election.
The result Mayor Harrison wins with less margin and regains his post second time. Since he was elected through reform platform he immediately takes action and he sends his best guy as Beer company owner and spend an evening in the club. Meanwhile the sisters aware of the situation changes their entertainment. Without knowing the background they hire Dr.Herman H.Holmes as their Doctor to check the 30 club girls.
Harrisons guy shows the fake visiting card and spend the evening with one of the club girl Fanny. Dr.Holmes over hears the conversation between Fanny and the customer, she expresses her desire to leave the club. Dr.Holmes persuades them that Fanny is having a disease and the customer also to be treated immediately. Dr.Holmes takes them to his mansion specifically designed for the purpose of killing. He dismembers Fanny and takes the body of the customer and lays him in the park.
Mayor gets the news that is guy is dead his secretary Karen Grant takes up the job of infiltrate the club and work as a prostitute and get the proof so that the club is shut down once and for all.
She gets the job but she did not get the chance as Minna's nieces Bruce and Cathleen visits their aunt for marriage with Armbuster's son.
One by one girls were murdered by Dr.Holmes, Minna and Aida are in dilemma as they want to show there are socialites to Bruce, Cathleen and Armbuster so the marriage takes place.
What happened to the Everleigh club did Mayor Harrison able to shut down the club, did the serial killer was captured? what happens to Karen Grant? Did the marriage took place between Cathleen and Armbuster? Did Harold T. Armbuster became the Ambassador of Germany? all are answered in the remaining chapters.
It is not an easy task to run a club by two widowed women. And Minna and Aida are portrayed as an intelligent women and they use a detective service to find the missing girls. The Detective Superintendent William Pinkerton informs that Dr.Holmes has to be investigated further. In that context before the climax she consents to send Cathleen and Karen to stay with Dr.Holmes mansion looks dumb. There are some plot holes. But also has some interesting sub plots, I like to mention the winning of American derby by Bruce Lester.
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