Monday, November 26, 2012

Detroit Breakdown by D.E. Johnson

Back Cover Blurb

Will Anderson and Elizabeth Hume are called to the vast Eloise Insane Asylum outside of Detroit, where Elizabeth’s cousin Robbie is a patient and now a murder suspect. The victim, like three others before him at the asylum in recent months, was killed with the infamous “Punjab lasso,” the murder weapon of the Phantom of the Opera.

Certain of Robbie’s innocence, they begin an investigation with the help of Detective Riordan. Will has himself committed to the asylum to investigate from the inside, and Elizabeth volunteers at Eloise and questions people outside the asylum. While Will endures horrific conditions in his search for the killer, Elizabeth and Riordan follow the trail of a murder suspect all the way to Kalamazoo, where they realize the killer might still be at Eloise, putting Will in extreme danger. They race back to Detroit, but will they arrive in time to save Will and bring the killer to justice?

Filled with Johnson’s trademark roller-coaster plot, nuanced characters, and brilliant historical research, Detroit Breakdown is a compelling, dark mystery set in the once- flourishing Paris of the West.


Detroit Breakdown is a mystery/suspense novel, the third in a series featuring Elizabeth Hume and Will Anderson. The novel is set in the early 1900’s in the city of Detroit where the two main characters are embroiled in a murder mystery in a notorious mental institution. There are plenty of twists and turns to the story, which held my interest to the very end. Secondary characters are never all that they appear to be when first introduced, adding intrigue and interest. Most fascinating of all however, were the horrible medical practices practiced on mental patients. The author also brought Detroit’s burgeoning motor and transportation industry.

There is much to like about this historical mystery. I loved all the odd and unusual tidbits woven into the story. Due to the fact the author regularly mentions previous history between the two main characters into play, I recommend also reading the previous two books in the trilogy. Otherwise, this is a fast-paced, succinctly written, mystery is unpredictable, creative, well-researched, and definitely keep you on the edge of your seat.  

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