Kirkus Reviews just passed along their take on Motor City Shakedown, and I'm pleased to say it was a positive one. Here it is:
MOTOR CITY SHAKEDOWN
Author: Johnson, D.E.
Review Issue Date: August 15, 2011
Online Publish Date: August 2, 2011
Price ( Hardcover ): $24.99
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-0-312-64457-4
"The Latin proverb 'Revenge is a confession of pain' perfectly describes Will Anderson's situation.
In 1911 Detroit, Will Anderson lives for revenge. His involvement in the death of his friend Wesley McRae (The Detroit Electric Scheme, 2010) and his own disfigurement at the hands of mobsters has led him to follow the driver of crime boss Vito Adamo.
When he finds the man with his throat cut, he knows he will be a suspect and realizes he must find the killer. It’s no easy job in a dangerous world populated by rival gangs willing to do anything to come out on top. Arrested for murder, Will spends months in jail before a confession from another man sets him free.
But all is not well; he’s become addicted to morphine, and his family is imperiled. His father must either produce a large sum of money or let a union into his electric car company. His back against the wall, Will puts his hope in his ex-fiancée, Elizabeth Hume, recently returned from Europe; Detective Riordan, one of the few honest cops in Detroit; and the Purple Gang, a bunch of young boys he’s enlisted to help him survive the mob war raging around him. Under these circumstances, he finds that Vito Adamo may be more friend than enemy.
Johnson’s period noir is violent and chaotic, but his clever weaving of history with intriguing characters makes for an exciting read."
Violent? Me? Do you suppose they take exception to multiple shotgun murders? (In fact, I included only a portion of the real chaos and violence of Detroit's first mob war. Had I included it all, the book would have read more like a WWI book.)
But, hey, two for two in reviews so far. I should be seeing Booklist and Library Journal soon. Hopefully they like Motor City Shakedown too!
Got some great news today. Publishers Weekly came out with the first advance review for Motor City Shakedown - and liked it so much they gave it a starred review. Here it is (but don't read it if you haven't read The Detroit Electric Scheme yet. There's a serious spoiler here.)
Motor City Shakedown
D.E. Johnson. Minotaur, $24.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0312644574
"Set in Detroit in 1911, Johnson's vibrant follow-up to The Detroit Electric Scheme delivers razor-sharp depictions of the motor city. Will Anderson, a member of the family that owns the Anderson Electric Car Company (formerly the Anderson Carriage Company), is determined to bring to justice the killers of a close friend, Wesley McRae, who was murdered by thugs seven months earlier. Anderson, who's become a morphine addict after using the narcotic to dull the pain from the loss of some fingers on his right hand, gets a line on Carlo Moretti, the driver for one of the men behind McRae's death, mobster Vito Adamo. But before Anderson can confront Moretti, someone else slits the driver's throat, and Anderson himself becomes the prime suspect for Moretti's murder. 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. (Sept.)"
And then I got asked to be on a TV show next week while I'm up in Grand Rapids for the "GR Reads" Program. Next Monday night at 5:10 PM I'll be on "The One Seven" on Fox 17.
It's a good day.