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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Mystery & Detective / Historical
  • Language:English
  • Pages:250
  • eBook ISBN:9781626756953

Detroit 32: Cadillac Kill

A Jonathan Raines Novel

by Tim Younkman

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Detroit-1932 is the turf of private detective Jonathan Raines, a tough ex-Marine who must unmask the killer of a prominent auto king’s party-girl wife, murdered on the 32nd floor of the swanky Book-Cadillac Hotel. He encounters Detroit’s infamous Purple Gang, Al Capone’s Outfit, crooked cops, and unscrupulous auto barons. With the industrial giant Detroit as the fascinating backdrop, Raines must protect those he loves and risk calamity to unearth the killer among the rich and famous of the city’s elite.
Detroit private investigator Jonathan Raines, an ex-Marine and war veteran, is hired by Hudson Motor Co. executive Willis Ponder to shadow beautiful Eunice Ponder and chronicle her romantic adventures. Surprisingly, Eunice Ponder finds him instead, offering him a sizeable sum of money to follow her, too! While unconventional, he accepts both proposals and follows her to the opulent new Book Cadillac Hotel where she entices him to stay with her in an empty penthouse apartment on the thirty-second floor. With great internal conflict, Raines declines the invitation, discovers the identity of the man who leases the penthouse, and reports his findings to Willis Ponder. The next day, he is told Eunice Ponder has been killed while asleep in the penthouse. Although his job may be over, Raines now wants to find out who killed Eunice Ponder. He returns to the penthouse to find Eunice’s sister, Christine Dehavilland, who is searching for Eunice’s notebook which may contain clues as to why she was killed. Raines learns that Eunice is not Willis Ponder’s wife, as he had believed, but his daughter-in-law, married to William Ponder, also an executive at Hudson. Later, while at a popular speakeasy west of Detroit, a carload of gunmen opens fire on Raines as he emerges from the club, wounding him and killing a woman nearby. Two of the gunmen are shot dead dead but one gets away. Now Raines must find who is trying to have him killed and is helped by Bernadette Robbins, a Detroit Free Press reporter, and George Matrikos, a shady police detective. Raines discovers penthouse owner Nathaniel Sarrow, a gem dealer who actually is the notorious Midwest hit man known as The Jeweler. Through a series of encounters, Raines and Bernie Robbins find Sarrow in a warehouse where they are captured and are to be executed when Matrikos intervenes to save them. The trail of suspects includes Henry Ford’s son, Edsel, who now is president of Ford Motor Co., and Harry Bennett, the elder Ford’s henchman who does a lot of the dirty work. Others who pop up are a couple of operatives for Bennett, and a Chicago gunman connected to Al Capone. Both Ponders and Christine Dehavilland also are on the list. Raines gathers the suspects inside Detroit’s famed Graystone Ballroom. As Raines weeds through the potential killers, eliminating them one-by-one, it appears clear that the killer is Christine Dehavilland, who is named in the notebook as being involved in industrial espionage between Hudson and Ford. Christine has been selling manufacturing secrets to Bennett at Ford and Eunice was about to expose the criminal activity. However, Christine has a gun and uses Bernie as a human shield, escaping to Windsor, Ontario, where Raines follows. That night he finds Christine murdered and tracks down her killer on a passenger train outside of Sarnia, Ontario.
About the author
An award winning journalist for four decades, Tim Younkman has incorporated his experience and training into all facets of his works, from essays and short commentaries, to short stories and novels. A native of the mountains of Eastern Kentucky and raised along the sandy shores of Lake Michigan, Younkman has not forgotten his roots when he tells his stories or offers his views on local, national, and global events. He is a graduate of Muskegon (Mich.) Catholic Central High School and Michigan State University School of Journalism. His experience beyond his literary talents includes performing as a professional musician, a music instructor, a labor leader, a parochial school board chairman, a board member for the Boys and Girls Club of Muskegon and the Heart Walk of Bay County. In his youth worked in a paper mill, in retail businesses, and a public library. He sold newspapers, shined shoes, collected paper for recycling, and had a lawn care business. His news writing included crime reporting, covering state and federal courts, investigative reporting of government corruption and drug cartels operating in Michigan. He also has been an award-winning columnist commenting on everyday life and the important issues of the day. He has worked in Michigan for the Clinton County News, The Muskegon Chronicle, and The Bay City Times, and mlive.com. Now he brings that expertise to his own website, offering his views on all sorts of topics, plus presenting his completed works in both the realms of fiction and non-fiction. He has traveled extensively researching a variety of topics included in his writings. Younkman is the father of seven children and resides in Bay City, Michigan.