Thunder City has as its focus the City of Detroit as it was in the decade before the First World War. It's rich with a variety of interesting, well fleshed-out characters (e.g. a powerful Irish-American political boss, an early mafioso [Sal Borneo], the Dodge brothers, Henry Ford, and a son of one of the richest men in Detroit who sees the dawning auto industry as the future), who embody the spirit of a growing, dynamic Midwestern city in flux between the norms of 19th century life coupled with ethnic tensions, and the budding, progressive/industrial changes being ushered in by the new century.
As someone who was born and grew up in Detroit, this novel is TREMENDOUS, REVELATORY, and FANTASTIC!!! It helps to give me (as a transplanted Detroiter) a better perspective --- given the present state Detroit is in --- about the historic forces which have shaped the city over time. I LOVE THIS NOVEL. Thank you, Mr. Estleman.