City of shadows

Ariana Franklin

Book - 2006

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FICTION/Franklin, Ariana
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Subjects
Published
New York : William Morrow c2006.
Edition
1st ed
Language
English
Physical Description
422 p. ; 24 cm
ISBN
0060817267
9780060817268
Main Author
Ariana Franklin (-)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

As Berlin struggles under the challenges of a post-World War I world, secretary Esther Solomonova finds herself caught up in her boss's scheme--to authenticate young asylum patient Anna Anderson's claims that she is the Grand Duchess Anastasia and survivor of the Bolshevik massacre of the Romanov family. But as acquaintances of the would-be royal begin turning up dead, Esther is left to wonder if proving her identity is the least of Anna's problems. British author Franklin's novel effectively blends history and suspense with a light touch of romance. 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--Esther is especially likable. She is plucky and clever, broadening the book's appeal to fans of crime, historical fiction, romance, and women's fiction. Highly recommended for all public libraries. [Readers interested in this period may also want to read Faye Kellerman's Straight into Darkness , which is set in 1929 Munich.--Ed.]--Amy Brozio-Andrews, Albany P.L. [Page 78]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

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. (May) [Page 45]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

In a decadent and turbulent Berlin of the 1920s and 1930s, Nick, a scheming cabaret owner, enlists the aid of his secretary, Esther Solomonova, to pass off a woman in a local asylum as the Grand Duchess Anastasia, daughter of the murdered Russian czar, in order to claim the Romanov fortune, only to discover that they have unleashed a nightmare of murderous violence. 50,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

In turbulent Berlin of the 1920s and 1930s, Nick, a scheming cabaret owner, attempts to pass off a woman in a local asylum as the Grand Duchess Anastasia, daughter of the murdered Russian czar, in order to claim the Romanov fortune.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A cultured city scarred by war. An eastern émigré with scars and secrets of her own. A young woman who claims 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 political movement growing in power. . . .Deeply atmospheric, peopled with rich, complex characters, City of Shadows is an enthralling novel of historical suspense set in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s -- a decadent, turbulent time in which a proud nation scarred by defeat, deprivation, and debauchery will become the fertile breeding ground for the rise of National Socialism.Berlin, 1922 -- one of this troubled city's growing number of refugees, Esther Solomonova survives by working as secretary to her fellow Russian émigré, "Prince"Nick, a scheming adventurer and cabaret owner. Always on the prowl for a deal, Nick smells money when he hears of a woman in an asylum claiming to be a grand duchess, daughter of the Czar of all the Russias, who escaped the assassination of the rest of her family 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 fear to be just in her imagination -- until innocent people around them begin to die. So in a Berlin stricken by hyperinflation, Esther enlists the help of a German police officer -- a dogged inspector named Schmidt -- to try and find out who wants Anna dead -- and why. Yet the deeper she and Schmidt dig, the more they realize that their own lives are at risk.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A cultured city scarred by war. An eastern émigré with scars and secrets of her own. A young woman who claims 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 political movement growing in power. . . .Deeply atmospheric, peopled with rich, complex characters, City of Shadows is an enthralling novel of historical suspense set in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s -- a decadent, turbulent time in which a proud nation scarred by defeat, deprivation, and debauchery will become the fertile breeding ground for the rise of National Socialism.Berlin, 1922 -- one of this troubled city's growing number of refugees, Esther Solomonova survives by working as secretary to her fellow Russian émigré, "Prince"Nick, a scheming adventurer and cabaret owner. Always on the prowl for a deal, Nick smells money when he hears of a woman in an asylum claiming to be a grand duchess, daughter of the Czar of all the Russias, who escaped the assassination of the rest of her family 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 fear to be just in her imagination -- until innocent people around them begin to die. So in a Berlin stricken by hyperinflation, Esther enlists the help of a German police officer -- a dogged inspector named Schmidt -- to try and find out who wants Anna dead -- and why. Yet the deeper she and Schmidt dig, the more they realize that their own lives are at risk.