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WHISKEY RIVER Mass Market Paperback – Jul 1 1991

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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99 by Wayne Gretzky 99 by Wayne Gretzky

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Crimeline (July 1 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553290258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553290257
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,727,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first novel in the 'Detroit Crime Series' in which the city is treated as an organic entity through various decades of the 20th century, "WHISKEY RIVER" spans from the Prohibition Era to the late 1930s.

Constantine ("Connie") Minor is a Detroit-based journalist who has made a name for himself covering the crime beat in the late 1920s/early 1930s. This was a time in which bootleggers and mobsters carved out Detroit into spheres of influence over which they exerted and established firm control over, not only, the illegal importation of alcohol, but also the numbers rackets, and prostitution. Many of the city's cops often looked the other way, picking and choosing what crimes to solve or ignore (courtesy of a bribe). All the while, Detroit's industrial might (as evidenced by the auto industry) continued to grow, giving the city a dazzling prosperity soon to be tempered by the ravages of the 1929 stock market crash and resulting Depression.

Minor has cultivated a variety of contacts with the city's underworld elements (e.g. Jack Dance, a bold and impetuous bootlegger building his own criminal empire in the city and "Joey the Machine" a powerful and ruthless criminal overlord who will tolerate no challenges to his authority). He brings the reader into the frenzied, at times dangerous, chaotic and colorful lives of the crime bosses, syndicates, police and politicians.

One of the most exciting scenes in the novel is when Minor accompanies Jack Dance and his associates over to Canada one night to pick up several cases of alcohol and convey them back to Detroit across the stretches of the frozen-over Detroit River during the winter of 1930. Amid a flurry of machine gun fire, they barely evade the Prohibition Squad of the Detroit Police Department.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book pertaining to the early days in our area.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars 15 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars Oct. 10 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The mix if history and fiction is fun. I will read other books by this author.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A considerable work March 15 2005
By F. J. Harvey - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Loren D Estleman is probably best known -at least to crime novel devotees -for his Detriot based private eye ,the Chandleresque figure of Amos Walker .The novel Whiskey River is set in Detroit but not the modern day Motor City of the Walker books ;

rather ,it is the first in what has become a regular series exploring the history of the city from the Prohibition era onwards

It is set in 1928 and the narrator is Constantine Minor -known as"Connie " -an journalist on the Detroit Banner .The framework of the book is his testimony to a Grand Jury investigation into organised crime and racketeering in Detroit as well as police corruption within the city .Minor has known all the major gangsters in the city in his time and was involved albeit in a journalistic capacity in running whiskey across the frozen ice from Canada to the States ,as well as playing a role in negotiations to bring peace between the warring gangster factions ,which it is pointed out are also ethnic divisions .

During his testsimony we meet most of the big players on the local crime scene -all are fictional creations but are consistent with the facts of Detroit crime in the prohibition era .The main focus is on the battle between the gangleaders Jack Dance and Joey Machine .Dance is handsome and charismatic while Machine is more the old style hoodlum .Both are ruthless and merciles in dealing with threats to their hegemony .

Estelman paints a convincing picture of the era , a time when the distinctions between the world of high society and criminal society were becoming fuzzy around the edges .He demonstrates clearly that Prohibition was an unmitigated disaster and creates an electric atmosphere and complete engagement with the characters

The book is not perfect -I found the framing device of the Grand Jury investigation superfluous and it added to the slightly long drawn out nature of the book ,making it a tad overlong .

Setting these minor problems aside this is a major work from an accomplished writer and is unreservedly recommended to all lovers of the crime novel and indeed mainstream fiction which is rooted in reality
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring in the Booze April 21 2008
By Nash Black - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The United States's experiment with Prohibition was a disaster that created more criminals than solved problems. Loren D. Estleman with WHISKEY RIVER, the first of his Detroit novels presents a compelling picture of the flow of booze across the Canadian border and the men who transported it, profit by it, and died by it.
Constantine "Connie" Minor is a reporter who has seen it all even to riding along across the frozen lake to observe a shipment. This scene is on the the most exciting scenes in the annals of crime fiction and worth the price of the book. Connie is telling the story of Jack Dance and Joey Machine to a Grand Jury, but he also tells the story of himself.
A keep your eyes on the page read.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Am In Awe Dec 19 2004
By Barbara Lujan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Loren Estleman is one of the most intelligent and sensitive writers living today and Whiskey River is true "Estleman." In addition to the standard plaudits attributed to his writings his works include an honesty, imagination, and sensitivity to the human condition simply not found in other writers' works. If I may quote from other reviews whose writers say it better than I can (with all due respect and credit): a Chicago Tribune reviewer said, "Estleman could rewrite the Ann Årbor phone book and I'd pay to take a peek."; another reviewer from the Washington Post Book World said, "--you will want to call up your closest friends to read them your favorite paragraphs." Amen.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good feel for the prohibition era in Detroit Sept. 12 2004
By T. Steinborn - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Loren Estelman really captured the feel of the early days of Prohibition in Detroit. This book offers an 'inside' look at the rumrunners and other organized crime operations that centered in Detroit in the late 1920s and early 30s. It was well written, so it held my interest. The grittiness of gang-related activities in Detroit were laid out sparingly but without trying to gloss over the underlying ugliness of the time and the men involved. I will read more of Estelman's books in the not-too-distant future.

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