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Monday, October 10, 2011

Gangsters, Murder & Mystery 1911 Detroit ~ "Motor City Shakedown" by D. E. Johnson

Published by:  Minotaur Books of St. Martin's Press
Pages:  337
Released:  September 13, 2011
Genre:  Mystery, Fiction

Book Summary :

Detroit, 1911. Seven months have passed since Will Anderson’s friend Wesley McRae was brutally murdered and Will and the woman he loves, Elizabeth Hume, barely escaped with their lives. Will’s hand, horribly disfigured from the sulfuric acid he used to help save them, causes him constant pain, forcing him into a morphine addiction. He lives for nothing except revenge against the people who contributed to Wesley’s murder—first among them crime boss Vito Adamo. When Will stumbles upon the bloody body of Adamo’s driver, he knows he’ll be a suspect, particularly since he was spotted outside the dead man’s apartment that same night. He sets out to find the killer, and the trail leads him to a vast conspiracy in an underworld populated by gangsters, union organizers, crooked cops, and lawyers. Worse, it places him directly in the middle of Detroit's first mob war. The Teamsters want a piece of Will’s father’s car company, Detroit Electric, and the Gianolla gang is there to be sure they get it. To save their families, Will and his ex-fiancée Elizabeth Hume enlist the help of Detroit Police Detective Riordan, the teenage members of what will one day be known as the Purple Gang, and Vito Adamo himself. They careen from one danger to the next, surviving shootouts, kidnappings, and police brutality, while barreling toward a devastating climax readers won’t soon forget.

Meet D. E. Johnson:
D.E. (Dan) Johnson's literary debut, a historical mystery entitled The Detroit Electric Scheme, was published by St. Martin 's Minotaur Books in September 2010 to critical acclaim. It was named one of Booklist's Top Ten First Crime Novels of 2010 and won a Michigan Notable Book Award. The sequel is Motor City Shakedown.
Dan is a history buff who has been writing fiction since childhood, but had to hit his midlife crisis to realize he should get serious about it. He and his wife, Shelly, have always encouraged their children to make their dreams a reality - and it finally occurred to him to do the same. After taking classes, reading everything about writing he could find, and writing for hours every day, he hit on the right subject and genre, and wrote a book that Loren Estleman calls "A LES MISERABLES for the American experience."

I thought you might enjoy seeing an actual Detroit Electric car of the 1900's era.

Let The Dame Have Her Review :

I often choose books to read because of my preferences for literature, contemporary fiction, YA fiction/dystopian/paranormal, and women's literature.  I also love a good murder mystery...not of the cottage sort. Once in a while I'm delighted and surprised with an opportunity to select a book that hits on my love of the late 1800's and early to mid 1900's. 

"Motor City Shakedown" came across my path and I immediately snapped it up!  I practically begged for a chance to review it.  Here were my reasons:  It takes place at the start of the 1900's, it's about a city I know very little about, it's a murder mystery, and it has gangsters involved.  Just my black little heart's cup of tea!

I'm here to report to you that this novel is much more than I was expecting.  It's classy and erudite.  The characters are sophisticated and sexy.  I'm talking about a dance with film noir when I talk about the characters and the story.  D. E. Johnson's pace, his development of the mystery; and, the personal motivations and addictions of the charming "bad boy" savior, Will Anderson, kept this reader clambering for more.

There is, naturally, a female character, as well.  Elizabeth Hume.  She's beautiful, but so easy to like not only because of her faithfulness and support of Will, but also because she's modern and of a feminist mind. Johnson is my hero in this.  He has Elizabeth choosing to lend her efforts to the "Michigan Equal Suffrage Assn.," and McGregar Mission, even when he didn't have to!  And, it's Elizabeth-the-brave who plays a large role in bringing everything to a satisfying end.  She's a strong woman, but doesn't have to give up her femininity.  I'm loving Johnson for this!

I have the first book in his Detroit-based series, which I'm anxious to read, called "The Detroit Electric Scheme."  It's going on the top of my book stack for this winter.  My prediction is that Johnson's books are going to take off like Deaver's did.  They would make fantastic movies.  Andy Garcia could play the part as the papa Ganster, Vito Adamo (just because I adore him).   I can see Johnny Depp as Will, and Jennifer Garner as Elizabeth.

Please find "Motor City Shakedown" and read it.  You'll enjoy it so much, as will your family.  D. E. Johnson writes every bit as well as Michael Connolly...only I think I like his work better. Find out what I mean!

5 electrical, not gaslight stars




I'm thrilled that this book turned out so much better than you expected! It sounds like a great read.

Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

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