- Hardcover: 422 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow & Company; First Edition edition (1 May 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060817267
- ISBN-13: 978-0060817268
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.4 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,567,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
City of Shadows Hardcover – 1 May 2006
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"Entertaining." -- Kirkus Reviews
Entertaining. --Kirkus Reviews
"Engrossing thriller...Franklin deftly orchestrates her characters on and off the world's stage, building suspense to a dramatic, surprising finish."--Publishers Weekly
Engrossing thriller...Franklin deftly orchestrates her characters on and off the world s stage, building suspense to a dramatic, surprising finish. --Publishers Weekly"
Entertaining. --Kirkus Reviews"
-Engrossing thriller...Franklin deftly orchestrates her characters on and off the world's stage, building suspense to a dramatic, surprising finish.---Publishers Weekly
-Entertaining.---Kirkus Reviews --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Ariana Franklin is a former Fleet Street reporter who lives in Hertfordshire, England.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
It has all the trademarks of the Mistress of the Art of Death series: full of heart and humour, it's set in a realistic past yet with a totally believable modern heroine, with vivid characters, convincing relationships, an edge of the seat plot, expert scene setting, spare prose, and marvellous dialogue.
Who would have thought that there was any more mileage to be got out of the story of the woman claiming to be Anastasia, the only member of the Tsar's family to survive the Russian revolution? But she's given it a new twist with this, and the revelation at the end is just the cherry on the cake.
No book is perfect, of course: there are a couple of plot twists that don't quite stand up to scrutiny, and the final meeting with the villain is a bit of a let-down. But looking at some of the inexplicably popular dross that poses as good thriller writing these days (yes, Dan Brown, I'm talking about you) the only mystery is why this isn't selling by the thousand in every airport and supermarket too.
What a fantastic film it would make.
Having read the author's other two books, the Mistress of the Art of Death and The Serpent's Tale, I decided to try this novel written before the above two. Although this book was an interesting read I cannot say that I enjoyed it as much as the above two, possibly because they were medieval novels, a period that I enjoy reading about very much.
However it would be unfair to criticise the book simply because of the period of history it depicts and all things being equal it was an enjoyable read. The storyline of the book takes place in Berlin, three or four years after the end of the war and revolves around a scheme to pass a young asylum patient off as Anastasia, the last surviving heir to the murdered Russian Czar . . .
The plot is both believable and inventive and the book is well written, in fact everything a reader could want from a good story.
Although in many ways a dark and terrible time, graphically narrated by this master of thrillers, she tempers the story with believable characters, witty dialogue and a rare talent for earthy comedy. Without giving away too much of the plot - the still unsolved mystery of the alleged Romanov survivors, especially the notorious "Grand Duchess Anastasia" is the weft and warp which binds the people (some real, some invented) in the plot together.
We, the 21st Century readers, have the benefit of historical hindsight. The world then was ripe for revolution...German people had struggled through a War which had left them utterly dispirited; suspicious (as some folk are now) of immigrants fleeing from worst conditions in Russia, Poland and other Eastern block regimes. There were all the ills of deprivation for the less well-off: sickness, grief, starvation, racism... to name but a few.
The power hungry Hitler and his SS henchmen exploited this, as well as devising their evil solution to anti-semetism - they were ruthless in their methods. Some of the events do seem far-fetched, but truth IS often stranger than fiction. The author has artist's licence to embellish where necessary......
The writer gives an overview of the relentless overthrow of the "Old Law" to be replaced by another Law - much less to do with justice. A kind of justice does prevail...but it does leave you wondering about present events.
I would recommend wearing gloves as you read this.....!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very different from other books of hers that I have read in that it is set in modern times and is quite dark, but I am enjoying it a lot.Published 17 months ago by Chicken
Just love her writing and so sorry that we won't be able to read any more.......Published 22 months ago by Greenqueen
After reading the other Ariana Franklin books, this was a disappointment. I couldn't get into it at all. Maybe I'll go back to it later.Published on 5 Nov. 2013 by pamela
This was an intriguing story that kept my attention all the way through. The fiction was inter-laced with historical fact which made it all the more interesting. Read morePublished on 31 Aug. 2013 by Lynda Jolly
It may sound exaggerated, but while reading this book I thought to myself that this was perhaps one of the best books I've ever read. It was gripping. Read morePublished on 4 July 2012 by Saul Rosenthal
I bought this book as I had enjoyed the Mistress of the Art of Death series. The book is brilliant on the historical research of Berlin in the twenties and thirties and the... Read morePublished on 10 Aug. 2011 by Ms. E. Boulton
not her usual kind of work but wow what an excellent story, set in the times of the spanish civil war with plenty of twists and turns.Published on 30 Jun. 2011 by Mr. B. F. Knowles