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Motor City Shakedown (Detroit Mysteries) Hardcover – September 13, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Detroit Mysteries (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312644574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312644574
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #755,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Set in Detroit in 1911, Johnson's vibrant follow-up to The Detroit Electric Scheme delivers razor-sharp depictions of the motor city. . . . Johnson brings the turbulence and rampant corruption of the era to life through his flawed yet tenacious lead in this worthy successor to his debut."

Kirkus Reviews
"(Johnson's) clever weaving of history with intriguing characters makes for an exciting read."

Praise for Motor City Shakedown:
 
"...the scenes of the Motor City, riding high on the industrial wave, are extraordinarily vivid..." --The New York Times
 
"If Dennis Lehane was from Detroit, this is the book he’d write. The Motor City was once the most important city in the world, and D.E. Johnson does a masterful job at making that time and place come alive on the page. Motor City Shakedown is as hard and tough and downright noir as anything I’ve read in recent memory, but it’s got a beating heart, too." – Steve Hamilton, Edgar Award-winning author of The Lock Artist 
 
"Johnson's vibrant follow-up to The Detroit Electric Scheme delivers razor-sharp depictions of the motor city. Johnson brings the turbulence and rampant corruption of the era to life through his flawed yet tenacious lead in this worthy successor to his debut." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
"Johnson’s...clever weaving of history with intriguing characters makes for an exciting read." -- Kirkus Reviews
 
"Violent, suspenseful, and complex, Johnson’s shakedown in Detroit sucks the breath out of readers rushing to the cliff’s edge with Will and Elizabeth. This gritty new series is a good match for James Ellroy and George Pelecanos fans..."--Booklist
 
"...Johnson's superb historical noir...is more engaging, more complex, and more violent than its predecessor."--Gumshoe Review
 
"This is a superb violent historical noir that brings to life the Motor City one century ago. The meet me in Detroit story line is fast-paced but it is the cast who makes for a terrific action-packed tale especially Will. With tidbits of history interwoven to anchor time and place, readers will enjoy riding the Anderson Electric Car driven by D. E. Johnson."-- Midwest Books Reviews
 
Praise for The Detroit Electric Scheme

“The surprise ending leaves you gasping and shaking your head at Johnson’s masterful plotting and the menacing tension that forces otherwise good characters to behave despicably. Every bit as powerful as Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley series, this gem of a debut showcases an author to watch very closely.”---Booklist (starred review)

“A empathetic hero and an abundance of interesting historical detail should keep readers engaged.”---Kirkus Reviews

“Full of nonstop action, plot twists and turns, and great insight into the early history of the United States car industry, this debut is part coming-of-age tale and part historical mystery. Essential for historical fans.”---Library Journal

“Absorbing.”---The Seattle Times

“Johnson is so skilled a writer that the race for supremacy between the manufacturers of electric and gasoline-powered automobiles is every bit as exciting as the chase through the streets of Detroit to find a ruthless killer. This remarkable debut novel will give you a thrilling ride, and leave you wanting more.”---Historical Novels Review (Editor's Choice)

“D. E. Johnson’s terrific debut brilliantly captures the dangerous underbelly of 1910 Detroit’s fast-growing automobile industry. A well-plotted mystery filled with memorable characters and taut suspense, The Detroit Electric Scheme makes for a compelling read.”---Stefanie Pintoff, Edgar Award--winning author of In the Shadow of Gotham and A Curtain Falls

“Johnson makes a stunning debut, taking us to a time and place so very different from our own—and yet so very much the same.”---Victoria Thompson, author of Murder on Lexington Avenue

“D. E. Johnson’s impeccable research drives this crackling tale of murder set in Detroit's infant auto industry. . . . The Detroit Electric Scheme jolts you into a dangerous world of suspense and intrigue.”---Rebecca Cantrell, award-winning author of A Trace of Smoke

About the Author

D. E. Johnson, a graduate of Central Michigan University, is a history buff who has been writing fiction since childhood. He comes by his interest in automotive history through his grandfather, who was the vice president of Checker Motors. Johnson lives with his family near Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Visit his Web site at www.dejohnsonauthor.com.


More About the Author

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, Motor City Shakedown, will be released by Minotaur on September 13, 2011.

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."

The early Twentieth Century, a time of big ambitions, huge achievements, and crushing poverty, holds a special fascination for him. Dan comes by his interest in automotive history honestly. His grandfather was the Vice President of Checker Motors, beginning work with Checker in 1924 and continuing until 1980. Fortunately, Dan doesn't come by his interest in murder the same way.

After spending his childhood in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Dan graduated from Central Michigan University and owned a business in Grand Rapids, Michigan for many years. He is married, has three daughters, and once again lives near Kalamazoo. He's currently working on Detroit Breakdown, the third book in the series, which finds Will behind the walls of Eloise Hospital, Wayne County's sprawling mental institution.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 26 customer reviews
Look forward to the next book!
D. Gifford
I also love a good murder mystery...not of the cottage sort.
The Bookish Dame
What's great about DE's character is his believability.
RHART

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Bookish Dame on October 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
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!
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. Shryock on September 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Motor City Shakedown, the sequel to The Detroit Electric Scheme, hits the ground running. Determined to avenge the death of a good friend, Will Anderson and his former fiancee, Elizabeth, team up and throw themselves into the dark underbelly of Detroit. Dealing with shady characters at every turn, they eventually find themselves in the thick of Detroit's first mob war. Historical characters such as the Adamos, the Gianollas, and the Berstein boys are reincarnated through Johnson's brilliant descriptions. The way Johnson weaves historical information into the plot gives you a better understanding of the time without feeling like you are being taught. And with Johnson's surprise ending, you will not be able to keep your jaw from dropping. This is a must read. The only thing you will be disappointed about is that the third book of the series is not on the shelf yet!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on September 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In 1911 Detroit, it is Will Anderson's family that owns the Anderson Electric Car Company. However, his mind is not on vehicles. Instead he seeks revenge. Seven months ago thugs enabled John Cooper to murder his friend Wesley McRae and turned Will into a morphine addict. He lost or had disfigured several fingers due to sulfuric acid before he and his beloved former fiancée Elizabeth Hume escaped the gangsters (see The Detroit Electric Scheme), but the pain and disuse of his right hand remains constant .

His first break leads to gang boss Vito Adamo's driver Carlo Moretti. However, when Will goes to confront Moretti he is greeted by a dead man whose throat has been cut. The Detroit police believe Anderson killed Moretti in an act of revenge. He sits in jail for several months before being freed when someone else confesses to the homicide. The family company teeters near bankruptcy or unionization. Meanwhile, Will is in the crosshairs of gang warfare with enemies maybe being his allies and friends like Elizabeth back from Europe, Police Detective Riordan, and the Purple Gang on his side.

This is a superb violent historical noir that brings to life the Motor City one century ago. The meet me in Detroit story line is fast-paced but it is the cast who makes for a terrific action-packed tale especially Will. With tidbits of history interwoven to anchor time and place, readers will enjoy riding the Anderson Electric Car driven by D. E. Johnson.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Davis on October 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've read my share of thriller and detective novels and most of them are set in LA, New Orleans, Chicago, Boston, or New York or international cities famous for spies such as London, Paris, Moscow, the Middle East or DC. Booming early 20th century Detroit is the setting for D. E. Johnson's followup to The Detroit Electric Scheme. Will Anderson has traded his alcohol problem for morphine and his depression for a desire to revenge the death of his best friend. Throw in early gang warfare and the rise of the unions in Detroit and you've got a crackerjack novel. Johnson has picked up the pace in his second book and this one is even harder to put down than his first. And when it was over I already wondering how Will Anderson would be dealing with the debts he incurs in Motor City Shakedown in the third novel and also what roles some of the other, interesting characters will play. I liked Anderson's growth in this novel. He's still not always the most likeable of protagonists but his increasing street smarts, his guts and the realization that he has people who care about him that he needs to trust more are making me root for him more strongly than ever. I'm looking forward to the next installment where I hope I see Will Anderson becoming a better, stronger human being. I also look forward to learning more about the history of the city that has played such an important role in America in the 20th century but is so seldom the setting for novels I encounter.
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