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The City of Strangers

The City of Strangers [Kindle Edition]

Michael Russell
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Description


‘Complex but compelling … utterly vivid and convincing …Michael Russell’s style is a pleasure: easy, fluent, clear, always calm and never over-heated. The result is an exciting comfort read, which sounds like a paradox but isn’t’ (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

‘Part thriller and part historical novel, this is a blinder of a read!’ (SUN)

Praise for City of Shadows:
‘A superb, atmospheric thriller…A page turner of high quality, populated by a marvellous set of fictional characters, interwoven cleverly with real characters of the era. Highly recommended’ (Irish Independent)

‘A great insight into a turbulent time in Dublin and Ireland, in a challenging-to-your-heartbeat kind of way’ (Evening Herald)

‘In action ranging from Dublin to Danzig Russell has drawn on real-life Irish characters whose decent behaviour in the face of the impending Holocaust has been sadly lost over the years. This book has triumphantly revived their reputation’ (Jewish Chronicle)

‘This is a sterling debut not to be rushed, but to be savoured’ (

Product Description

The SUNDAY TIMES top 20 bestseller!

New York, 1939: A city of hope. A city of opportunity. A city hiding dark secrets …

A brutal murder in an affluent suburb of Dublin and the unexplained death of an Irish diplomat in Manhattan…

Garda Sergeant Stefan Gillespie is sent to America to bring a killer to justice, but his mission soon becomes part of an increasingly personal struggle. A chance encounter with an old friend draws him deep into a chilling network of conspiracy, espionage and terror with disturbing connections to home.

He becomes more involved than he should in an Irish woman’s bid for freedom from the clutches of the Manhattan underworld, and discovers that the war that is looming in Europe is already being played out here on the streets, with deadly consequences.

In this time when people must make a stand for what they believe in, the stakes for Stefan Gillespie, and everything he holds dear, couldn’t be higher.

Elegant and atmospheric, The City of Strangers is a perfect thriller for fans of C.J. Sansom and Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 876 KB
  • Print Length: 497 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1847563473
  • Publisher: Avon (10 Oct 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,779 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

The first part of Michael Russell's translation of Karl Kraus's epic satire about the First World War, 'The Last Days of Mankind', written in Vienna through the course of 1914-18, has been published on Kindle by Forgotten Cities Press.

'The Last Night' is a self-contained play-within-a-play; a tautly written verse drama produced by, among others, Bertolt Brecht in Berlin in 1930. It has never been translated into English, despite the fact that it is one of the greatest works of art of the 20th (or any other) century. The rest of Michael Russell's complete translation of Kraus's epic drama will be published in 2015-16. A hundred years on and one of literature's great achievements is finally in English.

'The Last Night' is a compelling and inspiring introduction to Kraus's writing and the masterpiece that is 'The Last days of Mankind'.

Meanwhile 'The City of Strangers' has sold over 50,000 copies and was in the Sunday Times top twenty at the end of 2013. The second Stefan Gillespie novel is set in Dublin and New York on the eve of the Second World War in 1939.

'The City of Shadows' was longlisted for a Crime Writers' Association John Creasey Dagger, for best first-published crime novel of 2013.

For more information on the Stefan Gillespie novels see:

'The City of Shadows' is the first of a series of atmospheric historical thrillers set in the 1930s and 1940s, featuring Irish detective Stefan Gillespie, whose bloody-minded investigations into murder, crime and corruption in his country's darkest corners will drag him (and an uncomfortably neutral Ireland) ever closer to the dangerous margins of Second World War intrigue... in an Ireland where German and British spies eye each other across Dublin bars, the police and military intelligence are at each other's throats, and the IRA wants nothing more than a German invasion to topple the Irish government.

None of that will do much for Stefan Gillespie's personal life either!

As well as Dublin and rural Ireland, the stories will take Detective Sergeant Gillespie to many of the cities caught up in a war no one can entirely escape : Danzig, New York, Lisbon, Berlin, Rome...

Michael Russell was born in England. He grew up in one of those English-Irish families where the first stories he heard at his grandmother's knee were about murder, mayhem, Thompson Machine Guns and civil war in Ireland in the 1920s.

Determined to make himself unemployable, so that he could at least attempt to earn a living as writer, he studied Old English, Old Irish and Middle Welsh at Oxford before working for three years as a farm labourer in North Devon. His knowledge of farming (rather than writing) eventually got him a job as script editor on the English soap opera 'Emmerdale', in the days when it was still called 'Emmerdale Farm'. He went on to become a television writer and producer, writing for such programmes as 'All Creatures Great and Small', 'Eastenders', 'Between the Lines', 'The Bill', 'Midsomer Murders', 'A Touch of Frost'.

By the time he decided to write his first novel he was living in Ireland and it seemed inevitable that he would combine a passion for crime fiction with the stories about Ireland between the First and Second World Wars that he had once heard from his grandmother. The result was 'The City of Shadows'.

Michael lives with his family in West Wicklow, Ireland.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich and evocative 30 Nov 2013
By Bookie TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a story! From the first few pages, I was drawn in by the setting and characters. It felt very Irish but in a natural rather than contrived way. The dialogue, location and attitudes were realistic and immediately set the story in a particular time. The main character travelled to New York and the detail of the air journey and the excitement about it was a strong reminder of what was then a new transatlantic service.

Once in New York, I was intrigued by the detail about the connections between the NYPD, politicians and Irish nationalism. This detail served as a backdrop for the main story, giving it depth and a definitive time setting along with the machinations in the build up to the outbreak of war. Overall, it's a well paced thriller which kept me both interested and guessing. Really enjoyed it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Rob Kitchin TOP 1000 REVIEWER
The first Stefan Gillespie book, The City of Shadows, was one of my top three reads of 2012, so I'd been looking forward to the second book in the series. The City of Strangers does not disappoint, with Michael Russell skilfully blending together three interconnected storylines: Gillespie travelling to New York to bring back a young man suspected of murdering his mother; a revenge plot dating back to the civil war; and the IRA's political manoeuvrings in the US and with German intelligence and the Irish response just prior to the Second World War. The result is a compelling, page-turner police procedural/political thriller. Indeed, Russell has done a fine job at punching all the right buttons - as well as a gripping plot, the characterisation is strong, the historical contextualisation excellent, and the sense of place well realised. Gillespie is a well penned and engaging lead, with a well developed back story. He is accompanied by a mix of fictional and real characters who are all alive on the page and whose interactions are nicely observed. There is a balanced blend of Irish and international politics, supported by some nice historical detail that is informative without swamping the story. And the reader is dropped into pre-war Wicklow, Dublin and New York. Overall, a very fine piece of crime fiction and I'm looking forward to reading the third book in the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 28 Mar 2014
By Collart
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a great read. It focuses on an era in Irish history which not many novels do.
The characters and events are described in such a way that one can well imagine nand visualise them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fitting sequel 7 Feb 2014
By David H
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Again the hero, Gillespie, is placed in the immediate pre WW2 era. this time mainly away from his native Ireland to the even more Irish atmosphere of NYPD Irish. The quality of the prose and convolutions of the plot are close to Russell's former novel.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Who needs "Scandinavian noir"? 5 Feb 2014
By SamMcD
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a wonderful follow up to City of shadows! There has been so much fiction focused on the Irish Troubles but, based on what I have read, Michael Russell is the first author to examine the relationship between the Nazis, the U.S.A., Ireland and the I.R.A. in the years leading up to WWII. Let's hope this series of "Irish noir" novels is picked up by British television
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 29 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read the reviews I was looking forward to reading this book. Thankfully I had put it on my Kindle to read on holiday. I found the plot poor and very drawn out.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good yarn set in a fascinating era 2 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Author's knowledge of this pre-war period in Ireland & USA makes compelling reading. The hero is an usual one & all the more endearing as a consequence. The story is well crafted & well paced I enjoyed the story very much & look forward to kore tales of Stefan Gillespie
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another must read book by Michael Russell 15 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Brilliant book. Highly recommended. Couldn't put it down. Can't wait for the next book by Michael Russell. Interesting, intriguing insight into a dark period of history both sides of the pond! Sinister, insincere and the innocent are woven into this intriguing murder/mystery. Up there with the best!
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