A cultured city scarred by war.
An eastern émigré with scars and secrets of
her own. A young woman who claims to
be a Russian grand duchess. A brazen killer,
as vicious as he is clever. A detective
driven by decency and the desire for justice.
A political movement growing in power. . . .
Deeply atmospheric, peopled with rich, complex characters, City of Shadows is an enthralling novel of historical suspense set in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s -- a decadent, turbulent time in which a proud nation scarred by defeat, deprivation, and debauchery will become the fertile breeding ground for the rise of National Socialism.
Berlin, 1922 -- one of this troubled city's growing number of refugees, Esther Solomonova survives by working as secretary to her fellow Russian émigré, "Prince"Nick, a scheming adventurer and cabaret owner. Always on the prowl for a deal, Nick smells money when he hears of a woman in an asylum claiming to be a grand duchess, daughter of the Czar of all the Russias, who escaped the assassination of the rest of her family by the Bolsheviks. Enlisting a highly suspicious Esther, Nick plans to prepare the woman -- known as Anna Anderson -- to claim the Romanov fortune.
But Anna is being hunted. Or so she claims. At first Esther believes Anna's fear to be just in her imagination -- until innocent people around them begin to die. So in a Berlin stricken by hyperinflation, Esther enlists the help of a German police officer -- a dogged inspector named Schmidt -- to try and find out who wants Anna dead -- and why. Yet the deeper she and Schmidt dig, the more they realize that their own lives are at risk.