The Latin proverb “Revenge is a confession of pain” perfectly describes Will Anderson's situation.
In 1911 Detroit, Will Anderson lives for revenge. 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. When he finds the man with his throat cut, he knows he will be a suspect and realizes he must find the killer. It’s no easy job in a dangerous world populated by rival gangs willing to do anything to come out on top. Arrested for murder, Will spends months in jail before a confession from another man sets him free. But all is not well; he’s become addicted to morphine, and his family is imperiled. His father must either produce a large sum of money or let a union into his electric car company. His back against the wall, Will puts his hope in his ex-fiancée, Elizabeth Hume, recently returned from Europe; Detective Riordan, one of the few honest cops in Detroit; and the Purple Gang, a bunch of young boys he’s enlisted to help him survive the mob war raging around him. Under these circumstances, he finds that Vito Adamo may be more friend than enemy.
Johnson’s period noir is violent and chaotic, but his clever weaving of history with intriguing characters makes for an exciting read.