Paranoia.

That about sums up the essence of the premier of the second season of  “Boardwalk Empire,” HBO’s rousing razzmatazz – and violent – rendition of Atlantic City during Prohibition and the 1920s. (HBO Sunday, 9 p.m EST).

My name is Eileen Bennett – you might remember the byline some years back in The Press of Atlantic City. And even though I’m more from “Soprano-land” (Northern New Jersey), Atlantic City has always held a special place in heart. My other vice is history. Put them together and I’m a sucker. I’ve taken a break from the daily grind of newspapers to write my first two books: the fictional “Incidental Tears” and the nonfictional “Amanda’s Voice,” about the 2006 Millville, N.J., tragedy in our family when I lost my daughter Wendy and two grandchildren, Scotty, 12, and Melanie, 6, to murder.

I’m currently writing my third novel, “Silver Strands,”  now – but when The Press offered me a chance to blog about one of my all-time favorite shows, I pounced on the chance. I’ll be blogging about “Boardwalk” each week, and I’m looking for lots of feedback from readers. Agree with me? Great. Think I’m way off the mark? Great. Just feel free to tell me so.. You can reach my Facebook page at:

 

 

So ,back to paranoia.

Look for a distinct paranoia backdrop to Enoch “Nucky” Thompson’s persona. Who is he to trust?

The answer is simple: No one.

 Enoch “Nucky” Thompson, the once-omnipotent, corrupt treasurer of Atlantic City, must keep an ever-vigilant eye toward his crime enemies, the Chicago gang mobsters perpetually snapping at his heels hoping to snatch a piece of  Nucky’s beach-side kingdom.

The deeply disturbed G-man, Nelson Van Alden, is pursuing Nucky with the zeal of a one-eyed cat pursuing its prey, while secretly lusting after Nucky’s current mistress, the demure and lovely Margaret Schroeder.

Nucky also now has to worry about his hubba-hubba-ex-mistress Lucy who has moved on to Agent Van Alden after getting the boot from Nucky. She knows a lot of secrets. Not good.

Should Nucky trust the young and upcoming gangster and World War I veteran Jimmy Darmody? He was Nucky’s valued protégé, until Nucky banned him from Atlantic City when the heat was on - only to take him back.

How about Nucky’s own brother. Sheriff Eli Thompson? Surely blood counts for something. Not likely, after Nucky canned him last season. Eli’s tongue still stings from the bitterness of a brother’s betrayal.

Certainly Nucky’s valued personal assistant, Eddie Kessler will be true to his master….won’t he? “The help” is always faithful to their masters - just ask the aging Commodore’s maid. Hmmm…. better not.

We watch in dismay as Nucky’s fiefdom is threatened, first by state agents who

arrest him for election fraud and ransack his office, then by members of his own inner circle and even his family,