City of Shadows

Front Cover
Penguin Canada, Mar 6, 2007 - Fiction - 512 pages
14 Reviews
Berlin, 1922: A city of fading beauty plagued by unemployment and rampant inflation becomes home to a growing number of refugees. Esther Solomonova survives by working as secretary to her fellow Russian émigré, "Prince" Nick, a scheming cabaret owner. Always on the prowl for a deal, Nick smells money when he hears of a woman in an asylum claiming to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia, daughter of the Russian Czar, the lone member of her family to escape assassination by the Bolsheviks. Enlisting a highly suspicious Esther, Nick plans to prepare the woman—known as Anna Anderson—to claim the Romanov fortune.

But Anna is being hunted. Or so she claims. At first Esther believes Anna’s fears to be just in her imagination—until innocent people around them begin to die. Together with a German police officer, a dogged inspector named Schmidt, Esther tries to discover who wants Anna dead—and why. Yet the deeper she and Schmidt dig, the more they realize that their own lives are at risk.

Deeply atmospheric, peopled with rich, complex characters, City of Shadows is an enthralling novel.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

Set in Berlin from 1922 to 1933, this suspense novel explores a turbulent time for the people of Germany, who are struggling with hyper-inflation, a depressed economy and a government unable to get ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sbenne3 - LibraryThing

I love historical fiction, but this book drug on a little for me. There were a few too many characters to keep track of and I just never really got into the story. It was well-written with an interesting premise, but not one of my favorites. Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Ariana Franklin was the pen name of British writer Diana Norman. A former journalist, Norman had written several critically acclaimed biographies and historical novels. She lived in Hertfordshire, England, with her husband, the film critic Barry Norman. Ariana was the author of the acclaimed, award-winning Mistress of the Art of Death series. She passed away in 2011, before she was able to deliver the manuscript for Winter Siege. Her daughter, Samantha, who began working life in publishing as a junior editor in children's books before moving in to freelance journalism, decided to complete the novel on her mother's behalf. Samantha Norman is a journalist and broadcaster who is mad about horses. She lives in west London with her two sons Harry and Charlie, and their dogs Becks and Spider.

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