Wake Up, Detroit is the second book in my “Vigilante Justice” series. It follows street sweeper Ernie Tanner and his messed-up friends as they discover their pensions have been stolen.
It does more than that, however. Unlike many books with foul language and gratuitous violence, this one takes an even-handed approach. That’s why the police viewpoint and that of the politicians is explored. And you get the bankers’ as well:
5 – Lyin’ & Cheatin’
“Wednesday afternoon,” Winthrop Hollingrass said. “In fact, they should have arrived at most homes this afternoon.”
“That doesn’t bother you any?” Jeremy Ringer asked from across the table.
Winthrop looked over at the older Board member and wasn’t happy to see several others gathered around the large conference table nodding to his words. He shook his head and then turned to look out the 62nd floor window of the Renaissance Building and down onto the Detroit River below, where the reflection of the half-crescent moon was shimmering.
“Detroit’s dying. It’s not our fault – we’re not the politicians. If they wanted this city saved they would have ensured it didn’t drive itself right into the ground decades ago.”
“That’ll be awfully hard for a lot of those pensioners to swallow, what when they see that letter today,” Amanda Reynolds said, to the murmured agreement of many, but the frowns of more. It was no secret many despised the Board’s only female.
“Oh?” Winthrop asked.
She nodded. “I mean, we’re taking people’s pensions away, the one thing that kept them going over all those years, the one bright shiny star of hope that pulled them out of bed each day when they’d rather be doing anything else.” She laughed and shook her head. “Now you’re telling me we’re just going to take that all away from them, leave them with nothing instead?”
“That’s exactly what we’re going to do,” Winthrop said. “We’re not nannies and we’re not elected officials – we’re bankers, and this country runs because we keep it oiled and greased. Hell,” he laughed, “in a couple years those folks will thank us!”
Jeremy rolled his eyes. “You think they’re going to thank us for taking their futures, the futures of their kids?” He laughed. “I’d be more willing to believe they’ll take to the streets at night with burning torches and a taste for blood in their mouth.”
“What, like in the Riots of ’67?” Winthrop scoffed. “Please.”
“They sure tore the hell out of the place in the ‘80s,” Dexter said, “and they make up most of the city now.”
“Who’s this ‘they’ you keep talking about?” Amanda asked in a clipped voice.
Winthrop scoffed. “Why, the blacks of course.”
Amanda shook her head. “There’s just as many whites now living poor in Detroit as there are blacks. And just as many of them will be getting those checks in the mail.”
“Well that’s what we have Detroit’s finest for,” Winthrop said.
“It’ll be real hard to convince them to do anything, once they find out their pensions are next.”
Winthrop narrowed his eyes at her. “Well we’ll just make sure they don’t find out, now won’t we?”
The doors to the conference room were thrown open and Richland Reece stormed into their midst.
“Stock’s up 19% and climbing still!” he shouted out.
A loud cheer went up from the Board members assembled there. Most knew full-well that a growth of 19% meant they’d be adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to their net worth, maybe even millions in some cases.
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