- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: Avon (7 Nov. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1847563473
- ISBN-13: 978-1847563477
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.1 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The City of Strangers (Stefan Gillespie 2) Paperback – 7 Nov 2013
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‘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’ (www.crimesquad.com)
About the Author
Michael Russell read English at Oxford before spending three years working in farming in North Devon, trying to get someone to pay him to write. He worked for Yorkshire Television as a script editor, on Emmerdale Farm, working his way up to Series Producer. He also spent several years in the Drama Department, first as Script Consultant then Producer, before leaving ITV to write full-time. He was a regular contributor to Midsommer Murders and scripted the last ever Touch of Frost which topped the ratings. He lives in Ireland with his family, where he is doing what he always wanted to do, writing novels.
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Top Customer Reviews
This able country detective has an ordinary job to do in bringing a suspect back from the USA to Ireland. Once in New York he is caught up in IRA sympathisers, German pressure groups and Jewish gangsters. He becomes an important character in the upheavals of the days just prior to the outbreak of WWII.
Russell gives a good insight into the poltics of those times. An annex of the historical context is a bonus for any history buff.
City of Shadows, the first novel, felt like a breath of fresh air, combining a crime novel moving beyond the merely domestic, set in the context of a volatile history, geography, and cataclysmic change looming on the horizon. This was Dublin, in 1934, and the background was the inexorable rise of Nazi ideology abroad. The possibility of war was looming. Ireland had been through some great changes, and there were those who thought that there was mileage in the dangerous adage that `my enemy's enemy' (Britain, the idea of a coming war with Germany) might make some kind of friend.
It is now 1939. That war has indeed started, and Britain needs America, currently neutral, as is Ireland, to come into that war.
Back in Ireland, a woman has been brutally murdered, and her son, gone to America as part of Michael MacLiammóir's company performing a play by Shaw, needs bringing back to trial. Meanwhile, no one in the high-ups wants this bad publicity on the eve of the prestigious World Trade Fair, happening in New York, as each country is of course engaged in splendid PR for itself.
Gillespie is the man to send, both for his discretion and his ability to keep a clear and intelligent head.
But there is a lot more, of greater complexity, going on. Many German Americans and Irish Americans want to keep America out of the war. Roosevelt is edging closer to entering that war.Read more ›
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.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel as it covers a wide area - the original murder and the suspect, the rescue of a wife from her abusive husband, IRA politics and violence, the rocky relationship between the English and Irish and the extremely murky links between the IRA and the Nazis - and I found it not only informative but very well written and compulsive. Stefan Gillespie is a man who doesn't fit in, being half German and Protestant. This makes him an ideal protagonist as he can be objective about inflammatory subjects, like the English or the fate of Ireland.
I would have liked to give this novel 5 stars but I have to admit to getting a bit lost in the history. I know very little about Irish politics or the IRA through a conscious choice and I thought Mr Russell assumed the reader would have a certain level of knowledge I don't possess and I felt it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very good read indeed. I liked the way the story unfolded, intertwining between Dublin and Danzig. It was an excellent portrayal of the run up to the Second World War. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Byuts
Great descriptions of New York in the late 1930's, as seen through the eyes of a rural Irish policeman. Lots of historical events/people, woven into a fictional thriller. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Y P P
For me this book sounded a lot better "on paper" than it actually was. The action takes ages to get going - I found the first half very slow, but I stuck with it as I like... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Miss N A Vidinova
Very interesting story with the right mix of fiction and fact. The story draws you in and just when you think the story is finished there's another piece to be added.Published 23 months ago by Ian Powolny
Never having heard of Michael Russell before a Kindle recommendation, I am happily making my way through his oeuvre learning much about Irish history and the machinations of the... Read morePublished on 29 Mar. 2015 by RoMo