A thriller about the exciting rise and fall of the Purple Gang in 1920s Detroit.

People ask about the babies all the time. Where did they come from? What the hell were they?

When I first saw them, pulling hard on their chain leashes as they emerged from Grabowski’s basement lair, I was definitely taken aback. I didn’t know if they were wolves or dogs or monsters of some kind. The answer, I learned, was all of the above.

The story of the babies goes back to the northern woods of Michigan, circa late teens. A bunch of loggers were having a problem with the local elk. The elk were chewing too much bark off the trees and the loggers didn’t like that. These same woods were also lousy with wolves, and the wolves would sometimes kill the elk, but you couldn’t bank on it—couldn’t train them to do it. So the loggers tried to build a better wolf.

They brought in a couple of Alsatians and then cross-f—ed ’em with wolves. The offspring, two cute pups, soon proved good at killing elk. But it didn’t stop there—they started attacking the loggers, too. Seeing their mistake, the loggers decided it would be best to hack off the heads of these wolf-dogs and they gave this task to the crazy, scab-faced guy who’d recently appeared from nowhere and joined their crew—yes, it was the young Grabowski, in hiding from the law at the time. Grabowski agreed and led the animals away, but when he raised his hatchet to do the deed, he looked into the eyes of the one called Ono and saw something—if you ask me, he saw a kindred spirit. He adopted those babies and brought them with him when he returned to Detroit. And that is how, as I like to say, Grabowski went on the lam and ended up with wolves.

Click below to explore more of the Purples’ world:
Arthur Nix • Back stabbings • Elvis Presley • Good old Detroit • Harry Riley • Henry Ford • Mazel tough • Rachel and the Palmer Raids • Saying bad things? • Speakeasy queen • Why purple? • WWJBD? • Buy the book
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Word on the street

I can only imagine what the Detroit papers will eventually have to say about us Purples, but these reviews will have to do for now.


Plot summary

Shunned by our community… locked up for helping an innocent girl… ambushed by rivals and left for dead in the Detroit River: Yeah, there are a few plots to summarize. Read more…

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Why purple?

People will always try to label you. We wore it like a badge of honor.

Elvis button

Jailhouse Rock

I could tell straight off that Presley was a hick and he was full of questions, two things I don’t like.

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Good old Detroit

Someone has to tell the truth about what happened in Detroit back in the days when it still mattered what happened in Detroit.


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