Saturday, May 19, 2012

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 name. To do that, she’ll have to keep Darren’s erratic schemes from getting her disbarred, all while staying out of the path of Detroit’s deadliest killer— the reclusive death-dealer, Malcolm Mohommad.

REVIEW (by Michelle Scott):
If you’re looking to read a fast-paced thriller with a touch of humor, look no farther than Jonathan Watkin’s novel, Motor City Shakedown.

Newly minted attorney, Issabella Bright, finds that clients aren’t exactly beating a path to her door. So after reading a shocking headline about a man accused of threatening the President of the United States, Bella is determined to represent the controversial client and gain some notoriety. Unfortunately, rogue attorney Darren Fletcher has the same idea. At first Bright and Fletcher are ready to duel to the death for the right to represent the client, but when the man dies under mysterious circumstances, they discover a mystery that implicates the of the Detroit Police Department, the two attorneys 

Motor City Shakedown is a fast-paced, humorous thriller that will leave you guessing until the very end. The main characters, buttoned-down Issabella and rash, unpredictable Darren Fletcher have wonderful chemistry. Bella doesn’t take Fletcher’s crap, but Fletcher gets Bella to loosen up. Both characters are likeable, despite their flaws.

Because the book takes place in my hometown, Detroit, I read with special interest. It was nice to see an author who had a real sense of the city. Despite the fact that Detroit isn’t quite the urban jungle that the author made it out to be, the setting overall made for a nice backdrop to this story.

One thing that didn’t work well for me, however, was the way that Bella and Darren’s physical relationship went from zero to sixty in under two paragraphs. That struck me as very out of character for both of them, especially when it was hinted that Bella had another romance brewing in the wings. I would have rather seen their emotional connection build rather than be introduced to a physical one so early in the series

Certainly, this will appeal to those who love their thrillers and mysteries with a lighter touch. I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment in this series. I give this book four out of five stars.

Michelle Scott received her MFA from Wayne State University. Her stories have appeared in such places as Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, All Possible Worlds and Realms. Her fantasy novel, The Dragons of Hazlett was nominated for a 2009 EPPIE Award. Michelle’s YA novels include the vampire romance, Blood Sisters, and the fantasy Uncommon Magic. Her latest fantasy novel, An Anthem for the Battle Lands, was recently released from Mundania Press, LLC. Michelle lives in southeast Michigan with her husband and three children.

She can be found on FaceBook and Twitter,  at her blog: Holy Terrors - conversations about grace and genre and more at her website

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