City of Shadows

City of Shadows

by Ariana Franklin

Arlene Almas: This mesmerizing book by Ariana Franklin, author of the "Mistress of the Art of Death" series, tells the story of Esther, a Jewish woman living in Berlin in the interim between World Wars I and II as the Nazis slowly rise to power. It is also the story of the mysterious Anna, who may or may not be Anastasia, a daughter of the last Russian czar who many believe escaped the massacre of her family by the Communists. Every character is so finely drawn: "Prince Nick," owner of several Berlin nightclubs and Esther's employer; Schmidt, a police detective investigating the man who is terrorizing and trying to kill Anna, and who eventually murders several others; and Esther herself, who has a mysterious background of her own. The Anna/Anastasia mystery, the murder investigation, and the ominous atmosphere of Berlin merge together seamlessly, producing a marvelously engrossing tale that drew me breathlessly to its conclusion.
Rating: *****

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