by John Klawitter
It is 1922. An Italian veteran of WWI, Anthony Anselmo is assigned by his wealthy grandfather to award the widows of soldiers in his company who were killed in "The Great War To End All Wars". He arrives in Chicago Heights, and while delaying talking to the widow Rosa Gambriotti, accepts a job working at a local Steel mill. Anselmo is trying to forget his past; he is burdened by the guilt he feels for his actions in the war, and is further puzzled by the mysterious death of his own brother in that same war. Drawn to Rosa's best friend, Lina Bright, who has her own WWI experiences (as a doctor pretending to be a nurse - a ploy to get to the front lines where she can save lives), Anselmo has a last chance to find understanding and redemption.
The conditions in the steel mill are deadly dangerous, the pay is low and the mill is ripe for a labor strike. When the strike begins, both sides soon become desperate: after several failed attempts to break the strike, the mill owners decide to ship cattle cars of black strikebreakers up from Louisiana. They come by train and are met by an angry mob of strikers armed with bats and flaming torches.
At the same time, Anselmo becomes increasingly aware that his own life is in danger: the same people who killed his brother are now intent on killing him. It is 1922, and in Italy Benito Mussolini and his black shirts have come into power. Difficult and dangerous times in both Italy and America.
Keywords - click on word to search for more titles
labor dispute steel mill strike World War I Prohibition Chicago Heights Italian community
Relying on his Hollywood and military intelligence experiences, John Klawitter has written over a dozen novels and six non-fiction books. In 2009 he was a double winner: his novel HOLLYWOOD HAVOC won the EPIC Author's award for Best Action Thriller, and his non-fiction book TINSEL WILDERNESS won the EPIC award for Best Non-Fiction Book. He regularly adapts his novels to screenplays and pitches them to the studios around town.
Watch for his upcoming Historic Mystery Thriller novel, titled Strike! and Death Drop, his Murder Mystery Thriller!
Settling a debt of family honor, a wealthy Italian World War I veteran journeys to America and becomes embroiled in a war between the employees and their corporation in the stunning historical mystery, Strike! by John Klawitter. After the Great War, Anthony Anselmo's grandfather charges him with the responsibility of remunerating the war widows whose husbands fought in their family sponsored military unit. The last one on Anthony's list lives near Chicago. Leaving behind his disapproving father and their family business, Anthony travels to America. However, feeling responsible for the death of the young soldier, he procrastinates in concluding his quest. To have something to do in the meantime, Anthony takes a job at the local steel mill for a mere eighteen cents an hour. Confounded by the strenuous labor and hazardous working conditions the employees endure, with so little compensation, Anthony joins his new friends and co-workers in a grim battle to bring about necessary changes. While the situation at the steel mill is intensifying, in Italy the Anselmo family is under siege, and someone is out for blood. Will the trouble follow Anthony across the ocean? Between the menacing unscrupulous strikebreakers and the assassin on his trail, can Anthony elude death and finally begin to live for himself?
Intrigue and mystery are at the heart of the brilliant novel Strike! by John Klawitter. Set in the 1920s, the engaging characters, intriguing storyline, and the complex and exciting plot create a spellbinding story. Beautifully written, the mystery is gradually revealed, teasing the reader along. Totally caught up in the drama of each character's life, I didn't want to miss a word; I couldn't put the book down until the very satisfying conclusion. I loved every aspect of the story but was especially fascinated by the historical facets of the plot. This riveting novel will delight those who enjoy intriguing mysteries depicting early twentieth-century industrial America.
(Reviewed by Susan Sewell for Readers' Favorite FIVE STARS
Rating: 5 / 5