"Vivid and poignant…A deeply satisfying novel. Levin’s remarkable latest novel recreates a rich historical period via expansive worldbuilding and complex characterization. Detroit, 1941. Private investigator Elizabeth Waters is looking into the city’s pro-Nazi, Christian nationalist groups. Elizabeth’s employee, Eva Szabó, is on an undercover mission to expose the Ford Rouge Assembly plant’s illegal campaign of anti-union violence. Meanwhile, Detective Clarence Brown, part of the city’s segregated squad of Black officers, becomes involved in a deadly conspiracy of racial violence. And Detective Denny Rankin is seeking the links between them all to deal with his own demons. The four join forces for a united cause. Levin’s impressive research shows throughout the narrative, whether in describing the real-life events, such as the Ford walkout of 1941, the conflicts over the Sojourner Truth Housing Project or in placing the reader inside the streets of Detroit and experiencing its day-to-day life. The narrative alternates between various characters’ ongoing stories: Eva’s undercover mission; Clarence’s daily struggle as a Black officer; Danny’s inner turmoil as he seeks to atone for his part in the city’s widespread graft. However, the novel is more than a poignant human drama—it aims to recreate a rich historical period with chilling parallels to our own time: violence and bloodshed in the name of race and class, governmental corruption, corporate greed—much of it related to or caused by the deeply rooted fascism which is alive and well in today’s time as well. While retaining space for genuine depiction of the era’s historical, political, and economical detail, this outstanding examination of the bottomless barbarism of the human race presents a deeply felt portrait of courage, strength, and resilience. A stunner." --The Prairies Book Review
The newest novel by the award-winning author of Savage City and
the Martin Preuss Mystery Series.
The Detroit story continues.
Critical Praise for The Arsenal of Deceit:
Detroit, 1941. With the nation on the brink of war, four people unite against the treachery that threatens America's "arsenal of democracy."
Eva Szabó, a young immigrant, goes undercover at the Ford Rouge Assembly plant to expose the company's illegal campaign of anti-union violence. Her boss, private investigator Elizabeth Waters, infiltrates Detroit's pro-Nazi, Christian nationalist fifth columnists. Police Detective Clarence Brown, part of a segregated squad of Black officers, uncovers a deadly conspiracy to ignite racial violence. And Detective Sergeant Denny Rankin seeks the links between them all to atone for his part in Detroit's widespread corruption scandals.
The Arsenal of Deceit recreates a rich historical period with chilling parallels to our own time.
"An Astute Novel Brimming With Razor-Sharp Characters.
"The Arsenal of Deceit" by Donald Levin is a compelling novel set in Detroit, USA. It's the year 1941 and America is within a blink of entering World War II by declaring war on the Empire of Japan following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Eva Szabó is a Hungarian immigrant, who fled along with her father, Lazlo, and stepbrother to America after her mother was killed during the White Terror in Hungary. Eva, who worked as a clerk at Ford Assembly Plant Hospital was an undercover spy for Elizabeth Waters, a private investigator. Her job was to unearth the company's illegal anti-union activities and instigated violence against union organizers. The report would eventually be handed to the National Labor Relations Board.
Elsewhere, Detroit police detective, Clarence Brown, is on the path to uncovering a cruel scheme of lies and pretense intended to ignite racially based violence across the city. Another police detective, Denny Rankin, who was earlier involved in the illegal collection of protection money, seeks to make amends for his past criminal record. He’s doing so by trying to join the links of all those involved, exposing the town's criminal underbelly and saving it from purging the country's democratic ideals.
Donald Levin masterfully weaves a tapestry with a variety of plots that collectively sum up into one rich storyline. "The Arsenal of Deceit" is certainly a master class of crime writing. It does not come across as a text for simply escapist entertainment as the author also manages to address complex topics rarely discussed through a thickly plotted procedural, thus managing to elevate it above its genre. Absorbing and at times affecting, this is a climactic re-imagining of an uncertain era.
Set against the impending entrance of the United States into the Second World War, the distress and sense of impending calamity underpin the story while managing to captivate a wide range of fans. If you have a penchant for historical whodunits, then this triumphant five-star read from an accomplished writer will have you in your element from the first page to the last." --Lily Andrews for Reader Views
"Donald Levin has done it again. As with his Savage City novel set in Detroit in 1932, Arsenal of Deceit breathes life into Motor City history on the eve of World War II. His characters wind through a maze of official corruption and deceit trying to stop a Nazi-inspired race war while fighting their own personal battles. Real life pro-Hitler figures plot while those of Levin's invention constitute the progressive forces standing in the way of catastrophe." --Peter Werbe, author, Summer on Fire: A Detroit Novel and Eat the Rich & Other interesting Ideas
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