Written by DE Johnson — Motor City Shakedown by is a violent, historically-based story set in a vibrant but unsettled Detroit in 1911. The author has researched the social issues of the early 20th century and it’s the details that draw the reader into the story of revenge and gang warfare, but it’s the characters that engage and keep you on the edge, wondering about their fate.
The story centres on Will Anderson. His family owns the Anderson Electric Car Company, but his focus is on finding who was behind the death of his friend. Lurking also is his morphine addiction that developed due to the injury he suffered to his hand during events in the previous book in the series, The Detroit Electric Scheme.
Will seeks his own justice rather than trusting the police. During his search, he discovers a murder for which he is suspected, a company in dire straits upon his release from jail, enemies that seem to be on his side, gang fighting that surrounds him, and old friends returning to help him with both external and internal struggles.
The author creates a grounded setting with historical detail that provides a compelling backdrop for all the urban mob warfare. Within, he gives us human drama, loss and even a little romance among the characters that guide the reader through the tumultuous period. Readers looking for an unflinching story, where the harsh realities of people and their times are on display should give this novel a read. It would be great to see DE Johnson’s books in paperback and/or for Kindle so more readers can enjoy them.
CFL Rating: 4 Stars