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  1. CITY SHADOWS
  2. Soviet Union’s Scary City of Shadows by Alexey Titarenko
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  4. City of Shadows () — Alexey Titarenko

They looked like shadows, undernourished and worn out. While waiting outside a subway station, Titarenko noticed how a crowd of people transformed right in front of his very eyes. With the belief that he could make time stand still by changing the camera's shutter speed, he created this interesting set of photos. He called the series City of Shadows. Find out how by becoming a Patron. LOL, I won't spoil for you, you'll just have to read it for yourself. Feb 03, Abriggs rated it it was amazing. What an exhilarating ride full of twists and turns!

Now that my heart has stopped racing all I feel is sadness She is one of my all time favorite authors and I have loved all of her novels written under this pseudonym. She has painted a vivid picture of Berlin during this turbulent time in its history. We see the seedier side that flourished in the years following WWI while most of the city was living in starvation and squalor.

She also captured the desperation that people had to endure in order to survive.

CITY SHADOWS

One of the things I enjoyed most about this story was the rich detail embedded throughout. I found myself looking up numerous things on the internet such as "brownshirts", pogrom and different notorious serial killers from that time. This helped draw me even further into the story. I also felt drawn to the different characters depicted throughout the story.

Soviet Union’s Scary City of Shadows by Alexey Titarenko

The strength that Esther shows is almost palpable. Her relationship with the infamous "Prince Nick" is another quality that endeared me to her. Don't miss the chance to get lost in this gripping and harrowing tale. Jul 04, Hilari Bell rated it it was amazing. Regardless of the period, Franklin writes great, appealing characters with depth and humor. The mystery plot, which centers around Anna Anderson, who passed herself off as Anastasia, is a fine one—but this book also reminded me that the best books usually do more than one thing.

Canyon City - Shadows

Not least of which was because there are some parallels with our own times. Jul 13, Shelli rated it it was amazing Shelves: Another great book by this author! It was interesting right from the start and I enjoyed the entire book. A mystery thriller, but also historical fiction. I learned quite a bit from this book, as I had to google a bunch of things to refresh my memory of the actual events. Set in Berlin in post WW Another look at what happened to the German citizens and leading up to the inevitable horror of the Halocaust.

Strong characters and a great storylin Another great book by this author! Strong characters and a great storyline involving Anastasia The story is exciting and stays that way right up to the last page! I found this to be very different but just as good as Mistress of the Art of Death I highly recommend both books. Apr 28, Linda rated it really liked it. Four stars because it was a little long for my taste. Otherwise a first class compilation.

I came to see how the struggles of the German people against out of control inflation, created the desperation which made them turn to anyone who promised to lift them out of the poverty and hunger that prevailed. Murder, conspiracy, romance, anti-semitism, integrity and redemption are all here. Quite a line up. S Heart Four stars because it was a little long for my taste. S Heartbreaking and frightening to witness decades old friendships torn to ruin as the ensuing madness takes hold. The intellect of Inspector Siegfried Schmidt is evident.

Paired with the quick thinking Esther and the intriguing Anna are what carry the story to a remarkable conclusion. Turned out to be a good choice. Sep 05, Diana Sandberg rated it liked it. I liked the second half better than the first, which dragged a bit.

I had some trouble with Franklin's choice of voices. Slangy English does not really convey slangy, lower class German, at least not without a conscious adjustment on the part of the reader. I did like Inspector Schmidt and I did like the nice little twist at the end, although I h Good, not great. I did like Inspector Schmidt and I did like the nice little twist at the end, although I had already suspected it.

May 21, Darcy Gregg rated it it was amazing. A very enjoyable read. I'd give it 4. It had a good hook and kept me reading, enjoyable and believeable characters. I even went on line and googled some things. I also watched a travel show on Berlin so I could get better pictures in my head. I would now like to visit there, so it's good it sparked an interest and left me wanting to know more about history. The book's ending left you feeling good and I didn't expect that when it was A very enjoyable read.

The book's ending left you feeling good and I didn't expect that when it was set in time when people were being killed left and right. Jul 26, Danielle rated it it was amazing. If I ever write a novel, this is how I would want it to turn out. It's a great mystery with twists and turns, but even better, it weaves in some serious world history in an insightful but not heavy-handed way - the Russian Revolution, the fall of the Romanovs, the Anastasia mystery, World War I, the Weimar Republic, and the rise of Hitler.

It's incredibly atmospheric with fascinating, multi-dimensional characters whose lives are anything but predictable. I can't recommend this book enough! I dropped a hint that I wanted this for Christmas It is Diana Norman writing under a pseudonym. The book is set in Germany between the wars and involves the story of the alleged Grand Duchess Anastasia.

It reminded me a little of Cabaret. Fantastic for anyone who likes history. The mystery line is great for those who like thrillers. Aug 02, Margo rated it it was amazing. One of the best historical mysteries I've read. I was bowled over at the end! Love this author's other books in the Mistress of Death series too! Feb 07, Anneke rated it really liked it Shelves: The first part is set in Berlin.

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A city hit by hyperinflation, unemployment and misery for ordinary people but also a city with opportunities for those who chose to live on the edge. One of them is a Russian refugee who owns a string of nightclubs.


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With the reluctant help of his secretary Esther he sets up a scheme to pass an unknown woman from a mental hospital off as Anastasia, the czar's daughter. This Anna has a mysterious past and death seems to follow her. The story follows Esther and Schmidt police in their quest to solve the murders and to keep themselves and Anna alive. Not an easy job mind, especially with the rise of the Nazis, hatred for people who are different and betrayal all around.

Can one trust a neighbour? I liked this book. It has a good story, likable protagonists and a well written atmosphere. The story has some inconsistencies but they didn't bother me. Towards the end of the book there is a twist. It surprised me and yet thinking back, I see the little clues right there. English is not my first language so apologies for any vocabular or grammarly errors in this review Nov 22, Lucy Crowe rated it it was amazing. Oh, what a wonderful read! So rich in detail, every textured, every character layered. Ariana Franklin was one of my all-time favorite authors, and I was so thrilled when I discovered this novel - one I had somehow passed by.

Esther Solomonova is a scarred refugee who works as a secretary to the dashing and unscrupulous "Prince" Nick - she becomes, unwillingly, swept up in Nick's plan to help an asy Oh, what a wonderful read! Esther Solomonova is a scarred refugee who works as a secretary to the dashing and unscrupulous "Prince" Nick - she becomes, unwillingly, swept up in Nick's plan to help an asylum patient who claims to be the missing Anastacia Romonov.

And so, a tale of epic proportions begins. Ariana Franklin was a genius in plot development and subtle romance, and "City of Shadows" is her writing at its best.

Sep 04, Becky rated it really liked it. It's been a while since I last read a book with such likable and real characters. I really feel Anna, Esther, and Schmidt come to life. I eagerly vouched for their lives and love throughout the book, and even after I put it down. There is a sprinkle of romance, but not too much to distract from the main plot, just the right amount in my opinion. The book can be considered longer compared to other mysteries, and can be a bit slow, but I really enjoyed the slower pace as I immersed myself in a diff It's been a while since I last read a book with such likable and real characters.

The book can be considered longer compared to other mysteries, and can be a bit slow, but I really enjoyed the slower pace as I immersed myself in a different world, one of Berlin in the s - s. The only letdown is the last page couple of pages where the true identity of Anastasia is revealed - it's so unnecessary and just not that believable, unlike the rest of the book. This is the sole reason for it to be a 4-star book and not a 5-star. I guess I will pretend that we never learned who Anastasia was.

Jul 13, Debbie Shoulders rated it really liked it Shelves: As a young un I oft heard one set of grandparents tell me the Germans were nice people as they gave them electricity! A very likeable character in Sergeant Steffan Gillespie of the Garda in the lead follows a crime to its completion unsettling all as he goes. View all 13 comments. Feb 08, Elaine Tomasso rated it it was amazing. Sergeant Stefan Gillespie is called to investigate 2 sets of remains found buried in the mountains.

This is the start of a long, complicated investigation which involves Special Branch, Military Intelligence, the Catholic Church, Zionist activism and the Nazi Party amongst others. This novel has an amazing breadth and depth not often found in the genre but, at the same time, it is easy to follow and draws you in effortlessly. If you want an intelligent page turner this is the book for you.

Oct 12, Cphe rated it really liked it Shelves: Ireland in the 's is the backdrop for this absorbing and well crafted police procedural, mystery, political thriller. During the course of the investigation he encounters Hannah Rosen a Jewish woman. Hannah has come to Dublin to search for her friend Susan Fields. She knows that Susan was involved with a priest and was pregnant, she also knows that Susan had visited Doctor Kelle Ireland in the 's is the backdrop for this absorbing and well crafted police procedural, mystery, political thriller.

She knows that Susan was involved with a priest and was pregnant, she also knows that Susan had visited Doctor Keller to have an abortion and that was the last that she had heard from her. When two bodies are discovered in the countryside, one of them is Susan and her unborn child and the other an unidentified male. As they delve into the seemingly unconnected murders they are repeatedly warned off. As Stefan and Hannah try to find a motive for the murders they endeavour to find the priest who was Susan's lover.

Their search eventually takes them to Danzig in Europe and Danzig is a very, very dangerous place for Hannah to be. Nobody is to be trusted and the country is in a state of political upheaval. Whilst the mystery component is fairly straight forward it is the backdrop of this book that makes it so interesting. It's rich in atmosphere and the politics of the time. The rise of the Nazi Party and the effects that would be felt in Ireland and across Europe, was as sinister as the machinations of the Catholic church in both Ireland and Europe and the political and social clout that it wielded.

The story is a little slow to get going, but I felt that was due to the care that the author took to set up his characters and explore the social and political uncertainty of the time. This was a real find, with excellent characters, caught up in a time of very real uncertainty, very good value Dec 24, Rob Kitchin rated it it was amazing. The City of Shadows is quite simply a brilliant crime novel.

Although his debut novel, Michael Russell has a wealth of experience as a television scriptwriter Midsomer Murders, A Touch of Frost, Emmerdale and it shows in the quality of the story, which works at every level - plotting, sense of place, historical contextualisation, characterization. Whilst the plot is expansive and complex, it is straightforward to follow and utterly compelling, grabbing the reader from the start and not letting The City of Shadows is quite simply a brilliant crime novel. Whilst the plot is expansive and complex, it is straightforward to follow and utterly compelling, grabbing the reader from the start and not letting up in intrigue or pace, and very well structured.

Russell drops the reader into the landscapes of Dublin, rural Wicklow and Danzig, and the heady mix of state and religious politics both at a senior actor level and how it played out in everyday life. There is real attention to historical detail and recreating the social and political atmosphere of the time. Stefan Gillespie and Hannah Rosen are both wonderful characters, each trying to fight a system that is seemingly too large and powerful.

Russell brings both to life and their fragile relationship is well penned, as are the myriad of secondary characters. Overall, The City of Shadows is a entertaining and gripping story that I thoroughly recommend. Oct 13, John Sheehan rated it really liked it. Parts action adventure, historical fiction, love story, social commentary, it was hard to put this book down. Set in Ireland in the 's,in the second decade of independence, at a time of almost absolute control by the Catholic church of all aspects of Irish life, this book tells a story of people on the outside of that society.

A young woman is murdered, but no one seems to care part from her best friend. Her path crosses with that of a detective in the newly formed Garda Very enjoyable book. Her path crosses with that of a detective in the newly formed Garda Siochana, who most battle internal politics, as well as religious control in order to investigate and bring to justice the perpetrators of the crime.

Along the way he uncovers secrets that have ramifications all the way to the top of Irish society. Sep 16, Chris rated it really liked it. A great crime thriller set in Ireland and Danzig. The main character Stefan Gillespie is a likeable and decent member of the police force having to deal with a many number of divisions in Ireland in the early part of the of the twentieth century.

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He becomes involved in what he thinks is a routine case but the deeper he looks the darker things become. I enjoyed the historical content that the book was based on as I wasn't particularly aware of this era of Irish history.

City of Shadows () — Alexey Titarenko

I would read more books fr A great crime thriller set in Ireland and Danzig. I would read more books from this author. Jan 27, Marisella rated it did not like it. I couldn't finish this book, it was disjointed. It starts with a young man who falls in love with a priest he had contact with once, the young man is almost killed by gay-baiters but then run over by a car. A woman "the woman" is prevented from getting an abortion, the illegal abortionist is arrested The descriptions meander, the plot falls apart like smoke, and the characters are waterlogged and pale.

May 04, Jasmine rated it liked it Shelves: I'll go ahead and give this 3. I'll start with why I knocked off the 1. Honestly for half of it he wasn't a detective. It was also because Hannah just made some really stupid decisions what Jewish girl consciously goes to Danzig in the middle of Hitler's reign?? Other than that, I did enjoy the book.

The plot was interesting and I liked the way Stefan's family relationships were inte I'll go ahead and give this 3. The plot was interesting and I liked the way Stefan's family relationships were interwoven into the plot. I enjoyed Michael Russell's writing style - pretty simple and to the point, but still poignant enough to make you really feel the way the characters do. I probably won't be reading more of this series, but I have definitely enjoyed what I have read of it! Mar 19, Louise rated it it was amazing. Michael Russell is a man who brings a lot of experience to the table in his debut novel The City of Shadows.

A regular contributor to Midsomer Murders, he recently scripted the last ever episodes of A Touch of Frost which toppe Michael Russell is a man who brings a lot of experience to the table in his debut novel The City of Shadows. A regular contributor to Midsomer Murders, he recently scripted the last ever episodes of A Touch of Frost which topped the TV ratings.

This is a period of history that seems to have dug its claws into Russell, and would not let go, the book partly inspired by stories told to him from his grandmother,about the Black and Tans, murders, and Thompson machine guns. If you read The City of Shadows, you will be immersed in the complex life of Stefan Gillespie, a character who never quite settles into the world around him, and therefore presents a deeper reflection to the reader of this time in history.

It was a strange combination, these two characters crossing paths, almost as if destiny deemed it to be, but with a destiny governed by the macro picture. In a time when, if you were Catholic, you were Irish, Protestant,almost Irish, and if Jewish, in some circles, definitely not. One of the most mesmerizing chapters in The City of Shadows is the opening one.

It has a very distinctive tone and rhythm to it, which stays with you throughout the remainder of the novel.