Jitterbug (Detroit Crime Series #6)

Overview

A tough town in a tough time: Detroit during World War II where the U.S. furiously tried to outmanufacture the Germans and Japanese. Industry importer workers to replace men gone to war—Southern whites and blacks working side by side for the first time.

Through this tense, troubled world cuts a killer, a self-appointed soldier savaging ordinary people, the defenseless. Lieutenant Zagreb's most important job is to keep the city from exploding, but his job doesn't stop there. He ...

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Overview

A tough town in a tough time: Detroit during World War II where the U.S. furiously tried to outmanufacture the Germans and Japanese. Industry importer workers to replace men gone to war—Southern whites and blacks working side by side for the first time.

Through this tense, troubled world cuts a killer, a self-appointed soldier savaging ordinary people, the defenseless. Lieutenant Zagreb's most important job is to keep the city from exploding, but his job doesn't stop there. He must catch a mad killer with a cop roster of 4-Fs and near-retirees and he has to save his own soul. But, he can't succeed at all three.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Crackling dialogue, smash-mouth action, and wonderfully three-dimensional characters." —Chicago Tribune

"I'm a big admirer of Loren Estleman....Among today's private-eye writers, Loren Estleman is the true heir to Ross MacDonald and Raymond Chandler." —Sarah Paretsky

"Colorful characters; swift, hard-driving narrative, and dialogue by one of the masters—Estleman in top form." —Philadelphia Inquirer

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Writing with wit and carefully crafting a chilling suspense plot, Estleman (Journey of the Dead) delivers another spine-tingling crime novel set in Detroit. This time, however, unlike in his Amos Walker novels (Never Street, 1997, etc.), the action tales place during WWII. The heat is on Racket Squad leader Lieutenant Maximilian Zagreb and his three detectives (known collectively as The Four Horsemen for their unorthodox, brutal, mostly illegal methods) when someone starts killing people for hoarding ration coupons. Using some artful manipulation and some very unsubtle pressure, Zagreb leans on a couple of unlikely sources for help. Frankie "The Conductor" Orr, a local mob boss, and Dwight Littlejohn, a black riveter in an airplane factory, are unwilling participants in Zagreb's efforts to smoke out the killer dubbed Kilroy by the newspapers. As the cops twist arms and Kilroy's victims pile up, Detroit explodes in a bloody race riot that summer of 1943, making Zagreb think that Anzio might be safer. Terrific, tough characters, snappy dialogue, crackling action and some imaginative applications of the third degree, make this a triumph for Estleman. (Oct.)
Kirkus Reviews
In 1942 Detroit, as WWII heats up, a maniac/patriot stalks hoarders, slackers, and anyone else he thinks stands in the path of allied victory. He wears a spurious air corps uniform, and a stolen bayonet is his weapon of choice. Already five malefactors have been convicted (and executed) by this self-appointed, one-person kangaroo court. Trying desperately to catch up with him is Lieutenant Zagreb, heading a cobbled-together police force of service rejects and near-pensioners. But a flag-waving sociopath isn't all Zagreb has to contend with. Detroit is a racial powder keg waiting for its match, and Zagreb knows explosion is inevitable. Up from the south has come a steady stream of the manpower needed to convert America to fighting readiness. Young black men work next to young white men, equal and no longer separate. The night that goes up in flames is also the night an old woman recognizes a photograph, and Zagreb gets the break in the case he's been longing for. A desperate car chase ensues, followed by a bloody shoot-out, while in the streets black kids and white kids beat each other up as if no other war could possibly matter as much. Colorful characters, swift, uncluttered narrative, and some of the best dialogue crime fiction ever gets to feature. This is Estleman, the master storyteller (The Witchfinder, p. 304, plus 40 more), making the others in his guild look like apprentices.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812545371
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/1/2000
  • Series: Detroit Crime Series, #6
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 6.68 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Loren D. Estleman was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a BA degree in English Literature and Journalism in 1974. In 2002, the university awarded him an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters for his contribution to American literature.

He is the author of more than fifty novels in the categories of mystery, historical western, and mainstream, and has received four Western Writers of American Golden Spur Awards, three Western Heritage Awards, and three Shamus Awards. He has been nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award, Britain's Silver Dagger, the National Book Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2003, the mammoth Encyclopedia of Detective Fiction named him the most critically acclaimed writer of U.S. detective

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