Jake Tapper
Credit: Corey Nickols/Contour

The Hellfire Club part two is coming, just when interest in the dealings of Washington couldn't be any higher. Jake Tapper has been busy covering the presidential election (among many other stories) in his post at CNN, but he still made time to bring readers another thriller. The Devil May Dance will hit shelves on May 11, 2021, and picks up with Charlie and Margaret Marder in their life at the top of the political hierarchy in D.C. The plot is just as twisty as its predecessor, so we'll let the official synopsis speak for itself:

Charlie and Margaret Marder, political stars in 1960s Washington DC, know all too well how the tangled web of power in the nation's capital can operate. But while they long to settle into the comforts of home, Attorney General Robert Kennedy has other plans. He needs them to look into a potential threat not only to the presidency, but to the security of the United States itself. Charlie and Margaret quickly find themselves on a flight to sunny Los Angeles, where they’ll face off against a dazzling world of stars and studios. At the center of their investigation is Frank Sinatra, a close friend of President John F. Kennedy and a rumored mob crony, whom Charlie and Margaret must befriend to get the inside scoop. But in a town built on illusions, where friends and foes all look alike, nothing is easy, and drinks by the pool at the Sands and late-night adventures with the Rat Pack soon lead to a body in the trunk of their car. Before they know it, Charlie and Margaret are being pursued by sinister forces from Hollywood’s stages to the newly founded Church of Scientology, facing off against the darkest and most secret side of Hollywood’s power. As the Academy Awards loom, and someone near and dear to Margaret goes missing, Charlie and Margaret find the clock is not only ticking but running out. Someone out there knows what they’ve uncovered and can’t let them leave alive.

EW is offering an exclusive look into the upcoming book, straight from Tapper himself — starting with the cover reveal.

The Devil May Dance
Credit: Little, Brown

Tapper is also sharing some insight into his favorite things about the sequel, and how he gets it all done. (Hint: It involves bourbon.) Check out his answers to EW's burning book questions below.


What is the first thing — ever — that you remember writing?

A political cartoon when I was maybe 3 or 4, so it was writing and art. It was a subtle commentary of our then-mayor, Philadelphia's corrupt thuggish Democrat Frank Rizzo. It was a drawing of Hizzoner with the caption BAD RIZZO BAD RIZZO BAD RIZZO. The Zs might have been aimed in the wrong direction, but the point was clear.

What is the last book that made you cry?

I may have to go back to when I read Elie Wiesel's Night in junior high.

Which book is at the top of your current to-read list?

Nick Hornby's Just Like You. Huge fan.

Where do you write?

All over. Wherever I can grab time. I carry around a Macbook and I go room to room and take it with me on trips.

Which book made you a forever reader?

I read a lot as a little boy; television was discouraged. My mom introduced me to this great children's book series that was popular in the U.K. (where she briefly lived) and in Canada where she grew up: Ant and Bee by Angela Banner. Banner wrote them to teach her son how to read and I think that's where I got the bug.

What is a snack you couldn’t write without?


If you could change one thing about any of your books what would it be?

I'd go in with a scythe and make them much shorter.

What is your favorite part of The Devil May Dance?

Taking real things that happened in 1961-1962 and turning them into settings or plot points.

What was the hardest plot point or character to write in this book?

To turn Frank Sinatra into a living, breathing credible person was a challenge, but it was also a lot of fun.

Write a movie poster tag line for The Devil May Dance:

In a town built on illusion, is anything real but evil?

Related content: