Motor City Shakedown by D. E. Johnson

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Detroit, 1911. Seven months have passed since Will Anderson's friend Wesley McRae was brutally murdered and Will and the woman he loves, Elizabeth Hume, barely escaped with their lives. Will's hand, horribly disfigured from the sulfuric acid he used to help save them, causes him constant pain, forcing him into a morphine addiction. He lives for nothing except revenge against the people who contributed to Wesley's murder—first among them crime boss Vito Adamo. When Will stumbles upon the bloody body of Adamo's driver, he knows he'll be a suspect, particularly since he was spotted outside the dead man's apartment that same night. He sets out to find the killer, and the trail leads him to a vast conspiracy in an underworld populated by gangsters, union organizers, crooked cops, and lawyers. Worse, it places him directly in the middle of Detroit's first mob war. 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.


About D. E. Johnson

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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
Published September 13, 2011 by Minotaur Books. 352 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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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.

Aug 02 2011 | Read Full Review of Motor City Shakedown

Publishers Weekly

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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.

Jul 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Motor City Shakedown

Historical Novel Society

Will Anderson, hero of Johnson’s earlier novel The Detroit Electric Scheme, stands against the powerful criminals behind the violence, while struggling against his personal demons, and trying to recover the love of well-bred and brave Elizabeth Hume.

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