CITY OF SHADOWS by Ariana Franklin
What is not to like – the Grand Duchess Anastasia lives, a serial murderer is running amok, Hitler rises in a devastated Germany, an honest policeman is in a warren of corruption and a woman of mystery tries to survive. Although slow getting started, this thriller is truly a thriller. There is enough actual history laced through the plot to give credence to the tale of murder, fraud and corruption amid a search for love, justice and honor.
Esther, who carries the plot, is the woman of mystery, scarred and scared. Nick is the flamboyant owner of the flashiest and finest cabarets in the world’s flashiest city, although a Berlin struggling under the crushing load of war debt. Anna, who may, or may not, be the Grand Duchess Anastasia, survivor of the slaughter of her family and resident of an asylum for the mentally ill, is the center of the plotting and murder that swirls around her. Connecting them all is Inspector Schmidt trying to maintain honesty and humanity is a city devoid of both.
The writing is vivid and shows a city devastated by war and greed and slowly coming under the domination of Hitler and his coterie of murderous goons. Ahh, the murders – the stripper, the good wife, the tale bearer, the innocent and more and more. Who will survive, who will die, will justice prevail, will love triumph, is Anna really Anastasia, and if not, who is she? All questions searching for answers.
5 of 5 stars