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Motor City Shakedown (Bright and Fletcher #1)

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  330 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
When a Detroit local is arrested during a deadly police siege, newly-minted defense attorney Issabella Bright rushes off to take the case. Unbeknownst to her, so does Darren Fletcher, a hard-drinking lawyer who runs his office out of the city's strangest bar. Issabella and Darren form an unlikely partnership as they uncover a murderous police conspiracy bent on destroying ...more
ebook, 252 pages
Published February 3rd 2012 by Createspace (first published December 11th 2010)
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Motor City Shakedown by Jonathan Watkins is a 2015 Carina Press publication.

This is a starter novel in the series, so a large portion of the book was spent setting things up, which of course slows the pacing down quite a bit. But, I think, from this point on, we will see the stories move at a quicker pace, and true character development can begin.

Overall, this is a good start to the series, and I think it has real potential. I liked it well enough to try out the second book to see how things p
Mar 30, 2014 Quillracer rated it it was ok
Shelves: freebie
A semi-alcoholic male lawyer and a female lawyer prone to panic attacks team up to defend a shady character accused of killing a police officer.

But things aren't that simple. The cop he shot was part of a police gang importing and selling heroin and they were coming to kill the man before he could rat them out to the FBI.

I gave this book 2 stars, but 1.5 would be a more accurate rating.

I really never connected with the main characters - Darren Fletcher and Issabella Bright - mainly because the m
May 23, 2012 ThrillersRockT rated it really liked it
Motor City Shakedown
by Jonathan Watkins

When a Detroit man is arrested during a deadly police siege, rookie defense lawyer Issabella Bright rushes off to take the case. Unbeknownst to her, so does Darren Fletcher-- a reckless, hard-drinking lawyer who runs his office out of the city's strangest bar. Forming an unlikely partnership, Issabella and Darren are soon confronted by a murderous police conspiracy bent on destroying their client. Issabella must stay alive long enough to clear her client's
Jun 25, 2015 Shinyfox rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2 1/2 stars

I loved the fact that this book had an alcoholic main character and a main character that had anxiety problems, her panic attacks would render her frozen and useless. My joy about having a main character that I could partially relate to dissipated as the book continued. Isabella's panic attacks stopped occurring after she teamed up with Darren. Darren also, mostly stopped drinking after he teamed with Isabella. There was no withdraws on Darren's part and Isabella became a fully functi
Mar 26, 2014 Bert rated it really liked it
Darren Fletcher is criminal defense lawyer who has fallen on hard times, drinking too much and seeking redemption. Isabela Bright is a fledging private practitioner, struggling to survive as a sole practitioner, and she suffers from anxiety attacks and a crisis of self-confidence. They both show up to unethically solicit the same potential client's case, after a Detroit local is arrested for killing a police officer. Fletcher and Bright cobble together a defense team to represent the accused. So ...more
Kevin Bowser
May 31, 2013 Kevin Bowser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love good characters. And this one had great characters.

The story begins with a police raid that goes bad - very bad. And the bad guy ends up in a hospital and in a coma. And we all know that nothing brings out lawyers like a poor victim of what may be police brutality. And Isabella Bright, a fresh faced and naive young attorney shows up at the hospital looking to gain a client and there runs into Darren Fletcher, a "once was" reckless and hard drinking lawyer who thinks this case may put him
Apr 23, 2014 Jan rated it liked it
Being from Detroit, this book was of interest to me from the get-go. Also, being from MI - I liked the characters travelling to the UP (Upper Peninsula), brought back memories of my home state. That being said, this is a legal/mystery book, not on par with Grisham or others like him; it was somewhat predictable but interesting none the less.

I read that the author was most interested in creating strong characters that bounce off one another throughout the story. Izzy (recently passed the bar, pro
Mar 10, 2012 Bob rated it really liked it
Issabella Bright is a new young lawyer who has been existing by doing reviews and edits other lawyer’s works. When a man is injured in a swat raid of his house and he is accused of killing one of the officers she decides she will try to become is defense counsel. When she arrives at the hospital and tries to get in to see the injured man, the policeman at the door sends her packing. No leaving but waiting sown the hall she sees a man, rumpled and looking like he was coming off a bender and had s ...more
Sep 04, 2012 Marcel rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, thriller
I enjoyed reading this book. It is well written and the main characters have depth. The story line around the corrupt cops is rather unlikely though, even more towards the end of the book. I also feel the cop story isn't quite finished, a little bit rushed at the end. I cared enough about the main character at the end of the book to want to read the second and third books in the series. I would have liked to see a little bit more development on the Shoshanna story line. All I can do now is hope ...more
Sep 07, 2015 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The developing relationship between defense lawyer Isabella Bright and burned out veteran lawyer Darren Fletcher is the basis of this series debut. The suspense/thriller aspect of the plot suffers a bit from being drowned in the details of their budding work relationship and romance, but the escalating violence and threats to their well-being keep the story engaging.

The story is believable, the characters are interesting and the atmosphere of the Detroit area is nicely evoked. Isabella's passiv
Jan 01, 2016 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detroit, audio
I read this because they said it is about Detroit. It does take place in Detroit, but does not give the reader a sense of Detroit. Isabelle is a lawyer trying to make it in a poor section of Detroit. She decides to go to the hospital to try to get a new client, a man whose house was invaded and searched by police on very little info or proof. Darren is a lawyer who allowed a killer of a child to go free and spends his time drunk. He also go to the hospital to get the client because police did no ...more
Nov 14, 2014 Shelby rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, cozy
I downloaded this as an e-book because I like the title and genre. Initially I was a little disappointed by the characters' personal demons and the heavy dose of rom-com feeling. Toward the end of the book suspense grew and I couldn't help but root for the mercenary. Still, the conclusion almost has the feel of a movie purposely written for a sequel. I could have used a little more closure. Bright and fletcher are worth giving a shot, and I'll probably give book two a try.
3.5 stars
Dec 18, 2015 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inconsistent, but worth reading

I enjoyed the character development and the underlying story, however, just as I'd find myself engrossed in the plot it would suddenly devolve into a teen romance novel! Nonetheless, this is the first in a series and I may need to give this another chance.
May 05, 2012 Margaret rated it liked it
I read this because it takes place in Detroit, though if the names were changed, it could be anywhere. The plot is rather unlikely, but it is entertaining. I liked it enough to look for other books by this author.
Susan Chapman
Sep 18, 2013 Susan Chapman rated it it was ok
I'm a Detroiter and was hoping for a tale that was really tied to this city that I love. Unfortunately, there were only a few passing references to Detroit - some of them inaccurate. Oh well. It was, otherwise, an okay legal thriller.
Jan 18, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it
Great legal thriller will read more from Watkins
Feb 14, 2012 Christina rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-challenge
Enjoyable, although I think I may have missed something because the Shoshanna story line didn't seem to get resolved in my mind.
Beth Niepokuj
Sep 27, 2013 Beth Niepokuj rated it it was amazing
Loved it!
Cori Arnold
Aug 12, 2012 Cori Arnold rated it liked it
Excellent, engaging start. I love the characters, but I'm not a hundred percent sure I liked the love story... it seems a little forced. The wit was great, the story and clues were good.
May 17, 2014 Billie rated it liked it
This really started very slowly and it wasn't until somewhere half through that the story picked up. Once it got going it was a good read and kept you on the edge.
Oct 13, 2015 Ann rated it really liked it
Shelves: done-reading, done
Enjoyed this book very much. Living in the Detroit area, having lived in Detroit it was nice to read a book with places I knew in the plot. Story kept me interested throughout!
Apr 22, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: indies, 2012-reads
(Review to follow)
Vincent DiPuma
May 06, 2014 Vincent DiPuma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


A trip down the lane with a Bogey and Bacall lots of twist and turns. Give Jonathan a try you will be entertained.
Ian O'brien
Jun 06, 2013 Ian O'brien rated it liked it
not bad. will end up being a series of 5000 books like a million others out there just like it
Feb 03, 2014 Bettie rated it really liked it
solid 4+ stars. enjoyed. Will read others by this author. Loved the Bright & Fletcher characters.
deeann linford
Mar 27, 2014 deeann linford rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A don't waste your time, disjointed effort at writing.

Less than one star. Totally unable to understand why this is even considered on Amazon. A waste of my time to download.
Sep 07, 2014 D R rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not what I expected - neither the plot nor the writing style. But that is a subjective opinion. The fact that I read through is what really counts.
Don Paske
Jun 01, 2015 Don Paske rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a highly enjoyable read. It had good character development and decent dialog. I'll definitely try Bright and Fletcher @2.
A decent mystery, I would read more from this author.
Mar 26, 2014 Clark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, legal-novel, ebooks
Good entertaining story and fun to read if you are familiar with Detroit and environs. I will definitely read the authors other books about this unusual attorney partnership.
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Jonathan Watkins lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, who is too good for him. They are blessed with two kind-hearted sons. When he isn't writing crime thrillers, he works as an attorney in the Detroit area.
More about Jonathan Watkins...

Other Books in the Series

Bright and Fletcher (3 books)
  • Dying in Detroit (Bright & Fletcher, #2)
  • Knights and Knaves (Bright and Fletcher, #3)

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