Monday, October 24, 2011

'Motor City Shakedown' by D.E. Johnson (TLC Tour Book)

Teaser synopsis:
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.

First thoughts after finishing: "I must read the first book from this author!!!!"

I assumed that I would not care for the Noir crime fiction genre but this author's writing skills has proven me wrong. I loved this story from the very beginning and thought it was a great walk on the wild side of Detroit. I have always known that Detroit is a huge Union still is. I've always known that Detroit has had many, many corrupt big wigs and players and they still do. Detroit is gritty, violent, and dangerous. She (the city) was that way in the early 1900's and she's still that way today. I loved how Johnson took well-known people like Henry Ford, William Anderson (Detroit Electric), Edsel Ford, and Vito Adamo (Detroit's first crime boss) and created this story about the explosion of the car industry, organized crime and the labor movement. Everything was seamless and the story flowed flawlessly for me. I really enjoyed the lead character, Will Anderson. He has his faults and addictions, but he wasn't afraid of putting his life on the line to avenge a friend and to try to protect his family from the Labor Unions.

Recommend? Hands down....YES! This was a winning read for me in all ways. Being a Michigan native, the story really came to life because I've seen a lot of the buildings that the author referenced and I know of the streets that he used in this book. He put a lot of time into this story and his research is meticulous. This series is a must-read for those that love Noir crime fiction and would be a great addition to your reading plans!

Rating: 8.5/10
Author: D.E. Johnson
Genre: Noir Fiction
Pages: 352 pages of fascinating historical crime fiction!
Published: September 13, 2011
Publisher: Minotaur Books
ISBN: 9780312644574

D.E. (Dan) Johnson, a graduate of Central Michigan University, is a history buff who has been writing fiction since childhood but had to hit his midlife crisis to get serious about it. His first novel, a historical mystery entitled The Detroit Electric Scheme, was published in September 2010 by St. Martin’s Minotaur Books. The Detroit Electric Scheme has garnered excellent reviews (including being named one of Booklist’s Top Ten First Crime Novels of the year) and also won a 2011 Michigan Notable Book Award.
Motor City Shakedown, the first sequel to The Detroit Electric Scheme, will be published by St. Martin’s in September 2011. Dan is married, has three daughters, and lives near Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Disclaimer:Thank you to TLC Book Tours for sending me a review copy. I was not compensated for my review. My thoughts on this book were in no way influenced by the author or publicist.They are my personal reflections based solely on MYexperience while reading this novel.

© 2011, Staci of Life in the Thumb. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Life in the Thumb or Staci's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. I have just been amazed at the fabulous reviews of this book by people I would never have thought would go for noir crime novels. It really makes me think this is a must-read book!

  2. Wow!! this sounds really good! Have a good week my friend! :):):):):):):):):):):)

  3. Looks like we had the same reaction to this book. I want to read the first one too.

  4. So you did not think you would like it and then you liked it..and I also think I would nto like it ;)

  5. This sounds like an author who is worth checking out!

  6. I'm not sure if this book is for me, but it sounds like something my husband would love. Excellent review, Staci!

  7. I'm so glad that your review echoes the love Audra at Unabridged Chick had for this novel. I want to read both of these now, even more so than before.

  8. On first glance I reacted as you initially did - this may not be for me. But your review has convinced me otherwise!

  9. I have this one to read and I've been looking forward to it. Your review makes me want to dig in now.

  10. This sounds like a book I'd like. I bet my sister would too - her husband's from Detroit, so she's spent a lot of time there.

  11. This sounds like something I would really enjoy. Great review, Staci!

  12. Isn't it great when a book surprises you? I think my hubby would like this!

  13. I like most noir and this one looks good. I bet Jason would like it, being a Michiganer and all :)
    (How bout that game Satuday night?!)

  14. I'm so glad this book exceeded your expectations! Thanks for the great review for the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

  15. I'm quite sure I would like this. I hadn't heard about it so thanks, Staci. Hey did you watch the show Detroit 187? Sadly it isn't on anymore but it was fantastic. On DVD, I think, if you are interested.

  16. I'm not so sure I want to read this. I can do without the negativity towards Detroit.


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