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Motor City Shakedown

(Will Anderson #2)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  165 ratings  ·  46 reviews
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 again ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (first published September 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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 ·  165 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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Oct 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: readers from the Detroit area

I have been visiting Detroit, MI, since I was a toddler. My mom's family are all Michigan people and we went there every summer, driving from Princeton, NJ, across the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Ohio Turnpike and stopping first in Royal Oak, a suburb of Detroit. My mom's older brother worked for Ford Motor Company and I had three cousins there.

I transferred to the University of Michigan in my junior year and remained living in Ann Arbor for the next 24 years. Detroit has played a lar
Liz Crowe
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
The second book in Dan Johnson's series based in turn-of-the-century Detroit is a thrilling look into the Italian gangs that had a chokehold on the city for a period of time. Will Anderson, son of the owner of "Detroit Electric" a car manufacturer and his estranged (at the beginning of the book anyway) girlfriend Elizabeth Hume are back in the thick of things, thanks to their desire to get revenge for the killings of her father and his best friend Wesley from book one (The Detroit Electric Schem ...more
Oct 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Staci by: TLC
Shelves: 2011-reads
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 gritt
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I am officially hooked on the adventures (or mis-adventures) of Johnson's main character Will Anderson. This suspenseful, fast paced, gritty follow up to The Detroit Electric Scheme is a wonderful and engaging read. Much like Johnson's debut, this one was nearly impossible for me to put down!

Being a Metro-Detroiter I appreciate the fact that Johnson did his research as the details seem to be quite accurate. The details and descriptions of the landmarks and characters paint a very viv
Phil Magnan
Dec 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
During the 1980s and '90s, when calling on the Big Three automakers, I was only vaguely aware of the Motor City's robust dynamism of the early 1900s. Still at the top of their global game, they had long before shifted away from their intertwined roots in the city of Detroit, a shrinking shadow of its former glory.

Motor City Shakedown, the author's gritty, bumpy ride back through the decades to a complex, vibrant, younger Detroit whose grandeur gleams arrogantly while her underbelly slides throu
Aug 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes setting becomes a character in the story and this is certainly the case for Johnson’s 1911 Detroit. Main character Will Anderson is both wiser and stronger in this sequel, qualities he needs when forced into the middle of a street war between rival Italian power houses, the Gianollas and Adamos. Anderson ultimately wants both dead for crimes committed against his family and friends and will have to work with the darker side of Detroit to survive. Anderson’s survival is complicated by o ...more
Sep 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Sequel to the Detroit Electric Scheme finds Will addicted to morphine and wrongly accused of murder (again). The plot wasn't so good this time but the historical depiction of early 1900s Detroit is still great making you feel like you are actually there. Gritty and super hard boiled mystery.
Maggie Bryan
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the second book of a series that currently consists of three books. The mystery is good but I especially love all the historical details about Detroit at the beginning of the automobile ara. Even if the mystery wasn't so good, the history alone would make this a good read.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who's interested in Detroit's history.
3 and a half stars. I didn't love this book as much as I loved the first one; it basically concerns two rival Italian gangs vying for control of the city. No Dodges, not as much Edsel Ford, fairly graphic violence, and Will continues to make some bad decisions. But I still liked it and still plan to read the next two. :)
J.F. Elferdink
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I’m not a murder mystery fan but I read Motor City Shakedown in an eight hour session because it was that intriguing. I admit my initial interest was due to the location—metro Detroit, my home for five years. Even though I lived there until 2008 and the story takes place in 1911, the streets the protagonist raced through or hid in were familiar names. So was the violence and corruption, although somewhat subdued from my vantage point in my Corktown neighborhood.

I love Detroit but I’ve wondere
I often choose books to read because of my preferences for literature, contemporary fiction, YA fiction/dystopian/paranormal, and women's literature. I also love a good murder mystery...not of the cottage sort. Once in a while I'm delighted and surprised with an opportunity to select a book that hits on my love of the late 1800's and early to mid 1900's.

"Motor City Shakedown" came across my path and I immediately snapped it up! I practically begged for a chance to review it. Here were my reason
Elizabeth A.
Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Detroit, 1911. When we last saw Will Anderson, heir apparent to the Detroit Electric car company, he and his then fiancée, Elizabeth Hume, had barely survived a nasty encounter with crime boss Vito Adamo. Will’s best friend did not survive, and the guilt Will feels over his friend’s murder, as well as the terrible pain he suffers as a result of his mangled right hand, have driven Will to morphine addiction to dull his demons.

Determined to set things right and avenge his friend, Will
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
First things first: don't read the blurb for this book if you at all think you're going to read the first book, Detroit Electric Scheme, as the description totally spoils book one. (And I think you'll want to read the first book first.) I enjoyed Detroit Electric Scheme and so was eager to read this book.

Set in 1911, Detroit, the novel continues to follow Will Anderson, a young man devastated by the last three years. Will finds himself framed for murder in Detroit Electric Scheme, and this book starts about seven months
Jan 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: no-longer-own
I think I've already made my first New Year's resolution for 2012, I will not review books that are not the first of a series. I will not, for my own sanity, review a book that is the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or....... in a series. It's too stressful and it keeps adding to my already growing wishlist of books that I'll never have time to read. The crappy thing is, I keep reading some fantastic books because of my poor decision making process.

Normally, and I think I've gotten lucky so far, most
Chris Davis
Oct 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I've read my share of thriller and detective novels and most of them are set in LA, New Orleans, Chicago, Boston, or New York or international cities famous for spies such as London, Paris, Moscow, the Middle East or DC. Booming early 20th century Detroit is the setting for D. E. Johnson's followup to The Detroit Electric Scheme. Will Anderson has traded his alcohol problem for morphine and his depression for a desire to revenge the death of his best friend. Throw in early gang warfare and the r ...more
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Although this book wasn't amazing, it was very readable and I didn't find myself bored too often. I think part of the reason that I want to give this four stars, is that the setting is very unique in both location and time period. I don't often find fiction from the very early twentieth century and almost never anything about Detroit. It's interesting to read about the city back when it was an economic powerhouse instead of the home of the Lions.

I think that the romance was, at times
Nov 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Will Anderson goes to confront Carlo Moretti, a driver for a local mob boss, and instead finds him dead with his throat slit. The police believe that Will killed him in retaliation for the murder of his friend some seven months prior. After being released from prison when another person confesses, Will becomes entangled in the war between the Adamo and Gianolla gangs.

Sounds like something you’d read about in the papers, yet this takes place in Detroit in the year 1911. D.E. Johnson c
Grace Shryock
Aug 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Murder Mystery readers, Historical readers
Motor City Shakedown, the sequel to The Detroit Electric Scheme, hits the ground running. Determined to avenge the death of a good friend, Will Anderson and his former fiancee, Elizabeth, team up and throw themselves into the dark underbelly of Detroit. Dealing with shady characters at every turn, they eventually find themselves in the thick of Detroit's first mob war. Historical characters such as the Adamos, the Gianollas, and the Berstein boys are reincarnated through Johnson's brilliant desc ...more
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Johnson follows The Detroit Electric Scheme A Mystery by D.E. Johnson with [bookcover:Motor City Shakedown|12313430. Will is back, and in trouble with a new set of Italian mobsters. They threaten to kill his parents, and Elizabeth, if he doesn't find a way to get the union into Detroit Electric, his father's company. It's set in 1913 Detroit, at the beginning of the automotive age. The city is one of corruption, rapid growth of the immigrant population, and great poverty. Will is typically angst ridden, caught in a morphine addiction due to his i ...more
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: historical mystery fans
This historical mystery set in 1911 Detroit sucked me in, and I enjoyed reading it. Will Anderson and his girlfriend Elizabeth Hume take on two Sicilian crime gangs, the Adamos and the Gianollas, trying to muscle their way into the auto industry. Will's father owns the Detroit Electric car company, interesting when today's autos are going electric once again. Will and Elizabeth, both wealthy kids, show a lot of pluck and intelligence in trying to match wits with the violent gangs. There are enou ...more
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Motor City Shakedown - the second book in a series by D.E.Johnson.

It has mobsters, union and union strikebreakers, damsels in distress (actually she’s trying to kick drugs going cold turkey). And then there’s gun play, threats, violence, and ‘how does he get out of this one” plots.

Will Anderson is changing - he’s leaving the drunk rich boy behind and getting his act together. Well, he’s actually growing a ‘pairs’ if you know what I mean. And Johnson does good job showing us that transformation
Dec 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
My husband discovered this author....a hidden gem in my opinion, at the bookstore with his first book, Detroit Electric Scheme. He raved and ranted about how good this book was. After reading his first book I was hooked.

I read Motor City Shakedown in an afternoon. I could hardly put it down. Johnson does a good job setting up the scenes with lots of details. He also does a great job setting up for the series to continue.

Being front Detroit area, I enjoyed the history and the details about the
Dec 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
MOTOR CITY SHAKEDOWN by D.E. Johnson takes place in Detroit, Michigan in the early 20th century, an uncommon but prime setting for crime fiction. Johnson’s accurate descriptions of people, places, and things there during that time reminded me of Dennis Lehane’s descriptions of Boston in his book THE GIVEN DAY, which also takes place during the early 20th century, although about a decade later.

Unlike THE GIVEN DAY, though, MOTOR CITY SHAKEDOWN is the second book in a series. And that may be a pr
Sep 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Pg18---Millions of men in this counry hurried through their lives, believing the lessons hammered into them. From the tiny classrooms of the most humble one-room schoolhouse to the ivy-covered walls of Detroit University School, we take to heart the most import ant lesson they can teach us—fit in, do what you’re told, don’t make waves. The nonconformist is vilified, singled out and shunned. The rest of us learn well and perpetuate the lesson.
… The “successful” men seemed to have found the
Rachel N.
Jul 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Will Adams is hunting crime boss Vito Adamo when Adamo's driver is killed and Will is set up for the crime. Will eventually ends up involved in a war between the Gianollas and Adamo and with the teamsters trying to take over his fathers electric car company. This is the second book in a series and I haven't read the first. There is a lot of mention of events in the first book so I think this series would be better read in order. I did like the history of Detroit. I found the writing to be somewh ...more
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
2nd book in series. This one much darker. The setting is Detroit, 1911. Will Anderson is the heir to an electric car company. In the first book, is life of ease is shattered by an accusation of murder. In this one, he has been exonerated by the courts, but not by the Court of Public Opinion. He would like to just go back to work and live quietly, but he seems to encounter violence, rival gangs, crooked cops and Bad Things everywhere. He's also not very successfully battling a morphine addiction.
Dawn Schout
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This action-packed book, like The Detroit Electric Scheme, is difficult to put down. Johnson is an amazing storyteller and pays off his first book with this gripping follow-up. Even after finishing the book, the characters, scenes, and vivid descriptions have stayed in my mind. As someone who doesn't normally read historical novels or murder mysteries, I can vouch that this is a book everyone should enjoy, and it's certainly one I want to share. From suspense and tragedy to a redeemed romance, i ...more
Michelle McGill-Vargas
Excellent book! You get the feel of turn of the century Detroit through the wild adventures of Will Anderson and Elizabeth Hume. The many historical elements in the story don't take away from the action and pacing of the plot. Between the relationship between Will and Elizabeth, the gang wars, the Teamsters, gasoline v. electric cars, there's a lot driving this story. All the layers are expertly woven together and come to a satisfying conclusion.
Ken Schloman
Nov 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a continuation of the story started in " The Detroit Electric Scheme". I think the books should be read together and in order. For a reader just picking up this book without reading the first one, there will be confusion. I think that the attempt to give the background of the charachters and story line from the first novel is weak, but if you read the books in order you have a first rate thriller.
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Okay. As one who is proud of being from Detroit, I love historic fiction (Loren D. Estleman!).

I was excited as this book picks a period not as well covered as Detroit's heydays in the 20's.

Unfortunately, there was not as much historic detail as I would have liked and the plot did not really grab my attention.

Also, as others noted, just the blurb for this book spoils the earlier novel.
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D.E. (Dan) Johnson is the author of the Detroit-based Will Anderson historical mystery series, which includes The Detroit Electric Scheme (2010), Motor City Shakedown (2011), Detroit Breakdown (2012), and Detroit Shuffle (2013).

Dan is a history buff who has been writing fiction since childhood, but had to hit his midlife crisis to realize he should get serious about it. He and his wife

Other books in the series

Will Anderson (4 books)
  • The Detroit Electric Scheme
  • Detroit Breakdown
  • Detroit Shuffle