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City of Shadows: A Novel of Suspenseby Ariana Franklin
Synopses & Reviews
A cultured city scarred by war...
An eastern émigré with scars and secrets of her own...
A young woman claiming to be a Russian grand duchess...
A brazen killer, as vicious as he is clever...
A detective driven by decency and the desire for justice.
A nightmare political movement steadily gaining power...
This is 1922 Berlin.
One of the troubled city's growing number of refugees, Esther Solomonova survives by working as secretary to the charming, unscrupulous cabaret owner "Prince" Nick, and she's being drawn against her will into his scheme to pass a young asylum patient off as Anastasia, the last surviving heir to the murdered czar of all Russia. But their found "princess," Anna Anderson, fears that she's being hunted — and this may turn out to be more than paranoia when innocent people all around her begin to die.
"British author Franklin (the pseudonym of a veteran historical fiction writer) makes the most of an original premise in this engrossing thriller that opens in 1922 Berlin. The German government is in crisis, inflation is staggering, anti-Semitism is rife, citizens are starving and Hitler has begun his rise to power. Horribly scarred Esther Solonomova works as a secretary for fake Russian nobleman Prince Nick, the owner of several Berlin nightclubs (think Cabaret) catering to the rich, the foreign and the deviant. Nick finds an inmate in a local asylum who claims to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia, sole survivor of the slaughter of Russia's royal family. Prince Nick renames the inmate Anna Anderson, installs her in an apartment with Esther and sets in motion plans to get his hands on the money and jewels that Anna will claim as the heir to the Russian throne. But a mysterious Nazi is trying to murder Anna, and those near her begin to die. Franklin deftly orchestrates her characters on and off the world's stage, building suspense to a dramatic, surprising finish." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Like Gorky Park, another story big on romance and location, there is a lot to enjoy in this well-researched, atmospheric novel." Philippa Stockley, The Washington Post Book World
"The pace effectively mirrors the social and political upheaval that took place in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, turning up the tension in the plot as the Nazis rise to power. Franklin's characterization is strong and believable." Library Journal
"Franklin, stirring a strange pot of romance, violence, sardonic humor and self-fulfilling prophecy, is most successful with scenes between her wise-cracking lovers....Entertaining enough when not stating the historically obvious." Kirkus Reviews
"The dialogue, hard-boiled and tediously sprinkled with profanity, could have been richer, more imaginative....The novel captures the mood of Berlin, by day and by night...and offers abundant intrigues and surprises." Boston Globe
Gorky Park meets Fatherland in this wonderfully vivid, thoroughly engrossing novel of suspense set in Germany between the two wars.
About the Author
Ariana Franklin is a former Fleet Street reporter who lives in Hertfordshire, England.
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