#376 ~ Motor City Shakedown

Motor City Shakedown by D. E. Johnson

Published by: Minotaur Books

Published on: September 2011

Page Count: 352

Genre: Noir Crime Fiction

My Reading Format: Hardcover review copy sent to me by the publisher so that I could participate in the book tour.

Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook

tlc-logo-resizedToday it is my great pleasure to be D. E. Johnson’s host on his TLC Book Tour.  This tour is to celebrate his novel, Motor City Shakedown.

I have a lot of fun working as a tour host for TLC Book Tours.  They always have great books and authors on tour.  Check out their website for more information on this tour and the others that they are hosting.

My Review

Will Anderson has a vendetta against Detroit crime boss Vito Adamo. Adamo killed his friend, Wesley McRae. Will and his ex-fiance Elizabeth barely survived themselves. Will didn’t leave that episode unscathed. His hand was horribly disfigured by sulfuric acid. He’s in pretty bad shape when he makes plans to kill one of Adamo’s henchmen. Running on revenge and morphine he stakes out his apartment only to find him killed before he arrives. Getting pinned for the murder is only the only the least of his problems. When Adamo’s rivals, the  Gianolla gang enter the picture, Will has to use every ounce of his wits to keep his family safe.

One of my first memories of Detroit was walking from our parked car with my Grandpa to my first game at Tiger Stadium. As we were walking toward the stadium, my Dad told me he never wanted me to go there by myself. I was 10 and we lived three hours away, so that wasn’t a threat of that any time soon, but I understood then that areas of Detroit were best avoided. From the beginning of Motor City Shakedown, I learned that it was no safer at the beginning of the 20th Century. Will Anderson’s world is one of gangs and dirty cops. Will may have come from relative wealth, but he wasn’t immune to dangers. In fact, his father’s electric car company makes him a juicy target.

When I first heard about this book, I was all about the location. I am a sucker for books set in Michigan. When I picked it up to begin reading and realized it was a noir crime novel, I wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy it beyond the setting. I’m not typically one who enjoys reading about gangs and guns.  What surprised me and hooked me in was Will’s vulnerability. For the very first lines I understood that he was addicted to morphine. Just like the hand he tries so hard to hide from those he loves, it’s his constant companion. I had to know how this man so shackled to drugs was going to survive the revenge that drives him. Once that journey began, I was hardly aware of the novel’s genre.

Motor City Shakedown was a fun, wild ride. I loved it for its place as well as for its characters, including Edsel Ford. The novel was based around a fight between two actual gangs and painted a picture for me of the Detroit in which my Grandfather grew up. Once again, I’m glad I leaped before I looked at another Michigan author’s book. My only regret was not reading The Detroit Electric Scheme first, but I can easily rectify that. Excellent Michigan-based reading adventures are the next best thing to being back home again.

D.E. Johnson’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:


Monday, October 10th:  A Bookish Libraria

Tuesday, October 11th:  The Rap Sheet – guest post

Thursday, October 13th:  Crime Fiction Lover

Friday, October 14th:  Life in Review

Monday, October 17th:  Joyfully Retired

Wednesday, October 19th:  Unabridged Chick

Thursday, October 20th:  Mockingbird Hill Cottage

Friday, October 21st:  The House of Crime and Mystery

Monday, October 24th:  Life in the Thumb

Wednesday, October 26th:  Murder by Type

Thursday, October 27th:  Fiction Addict

Tuesday, November 1st:  Dan’s Journal

Thursday, November 3rd:  Raging Bibliomania

Monday, November 7th:  Wordsmithonia

Tuesday, November 8th:  Book Reviews by Elizabeth A White – author guest post

Wednesday, November 9th:  Book Reviews by Elizabeth A. White


  • At 2011.10.25 02:06, Audiobroad said:

    Represent! I really enjoyed the setting & characters too -so much rich history in Detroit to draw from!

    • At 2011.10.25 04:59, Kailana said:

      This sounds good. Good review!

      • At 2011.10.25 08:06, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

        I am one who enjoys reading about gangs and guns for some odd reason, so I’ll have to check this book out. My brother-in-law is from Detroit and says it wasn’t the best place to grow up.

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        • At 2011.10.25 09:18, Beth Hoffman said:

          I have a fascination with this era in our history, and this book sounds like one I’d really enjoy. Terrific review, Jennifer!

          • At 2011.10.25 18:15, Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said:

            I love it when I have a personal connection to a book’s location – it makes the story seem much more real to me.

            I’m so glad this book was such a great read for you. Thanks for being on the tour!

            Read more from Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours

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            • At 2011.10.27 22:04, Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting said:

              This looks great, and the cover (pardon the pun), is a killer!

              • […] Tuesday, October 25th:  The Literate Housewife Review […]

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