Library Journal will be publishing this in their Sept. 1 issue. I especially loved this line: "Johnson’s spooky third series entry (after Motor City Shakedown) ensures its place among hot new historicals."
But Will, foolish? Say it ain't so!
Johnson, D.E. Detroit Breakdown:
A Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2012. c.352p. ISBN 9781250006622. $25.99. M
"Someone has taken the plot of Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera to heart and is terrorizing the denizens of Detroit’s Eloise Insane Asylum. Unexplained deaths are not being reported to the police, and no one believes the protesting patients. Elizabeth Hume is frantic to get her hospitalized cousin, Robert, out before any harm comes to him. So Will Anderson foolishly institutionalizes himself so that he can work undercover, while Elizabeth comes on board as a hospital volunteer. They must find Robert and nab the killer before the murderer catches up with Will.
VERDICT Johnson’s spooky third series entry (after Motor City Shakedown) ensures its place among hot new historicals. His unique take on Detroit in the early 20th century and its burgeoning automotive culture make this entry a perfect crossover selection for historical fiction buffs. The lead characters—chapters alternate between the two narrators—have a checkered and violent past that Johnson fills in nicely for new readers. Recommend for Stefanie Pintoff and Caleb Carr devotees."
There is still time to register for the Blood & Tea mystery writing conference in Ludington, MI on September 21 - 22. See the link here. This will be a very useful conference at an incredibly low price - only $150 if you register before the end of August!
What's better, there is going to be a very high faculty to student ratio, so you are sure to get individual attention. (And what's best of all, I'll be there!)
If you are a mystery/thriller/crime/suspense writer in Michigan or nearby, this will be a very worthwhile conference for you! And it doesn't hurt that it's in beautiful Ludington. Register now!
In the September 1st edition of Booklist, they are going to run the following review of Detroit Breakdown (Yay!):
"Building on his two previous titles set in the early 1900s (The Detroit Electric Scheme, 2010, and Motor City Shakedown, 2011), Johnson’s latest suspense novel finds maimed Will Anderson and his lover and former opiate addict, Elizabeth Hume, facing their personal nightmares as they track a strangler known as the Phantom.
The trail leads to Eloise Hospital, an asylum for the insane, the tubercular, and the inconvenient, where Elizabeth’s cousin, Robert, is a patient. After Robert is falsely accused of the Phantom’s latest murder, Will and Elizabeth hatch an elaborate plan to infiltrate the asylum, nab the Phantom, and release Robert from the “Hole” (solitary confinement). While exposing his characters to sadistic doctors, violent orderlies, and chaotic, frightening madness, Johnson ratchets up the tension as the killer repeatedly eludes capture.
The Phantom’s unmasking is such a shock that readers will wonder if Elizabeth and Will can ever recover. As suspenseful and twisted as Lehane’s Shutter Island (2003) and Lavalle’s The Devil in Silver (2012), this taut historical thriller is a definite winner."
Sweet article in the Detroit News, with their "Suspenseful Summer" reads. In addition to recommending new books by Gillian Flynn, James Lee Burke, Alexander McCall Smith, and others, they included Detroit Breakdown! (Read the rest of the article at the URL below.) Here's what they said:
"Summer book lists usually proliferate when the lilacs are still in bloom, giving readers a chance to pile up books for the Fourth of July and early summer getaways. But for many of us, it's the dog days of summer when there is finally time to rack up some serious reading hours. . . . Right now, fans of the mystery/thriller genre have a bumper crop of new (and newer) books to consider. . . .
"Readers who like Caleb Carr-style historical mysteries only have a few weeks to wait for Michigan author D.E. Johnson's ("The Detroit Electric Scheme) latest, "Detroit Breakdown: A Mystery" (Minotaur Books), out in September. Set in Detroit in 1912, the mystery involves a series of "opera ghost" murders (the Phantom of the Opera figures heavily) at the Eloise Hospital, Wayne County's insane asylum. One such murder involves the cousin of a young Detroiter, Elizabeth Hume, whose fiance, Will, has himself committed to Eloise in order to investigate. Will is already mixed up with some gangsters by the name of Bernstein, and other historic figures are in the mix — Edsel Ford makes a brief appearance, giving Will a reference."
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120731/ENT05/207310305#ixzz22IhdxO3V