Maxim Jakubowski's view...
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.
Longlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger 2013.
It's Dublin in 1934 when detective Stefan Gillespie arrests a German doctor and comes across Hannah Rosen who is seeking her missing friend Susan, who disappeared after a love affair with a Catholic priest. When bodies begin to accumulate in the mountains and connect with the case, the trail leads to the shadows of the Danzig streets against the sinister backdrop of the rise of the Nazi party and German nationalism. A dark, atmospheric thriller and a page-turner with a real sense of history. An impressive debut novel by a British television writer with a strong pedigree.
November 2012 Debut of the Month.
Sarah Broadhurst's view...
Prejudice, the church, illicit love affairs and murder are the intertwining themes of this evocative debut crime novel, set between Dublin and Danzig in the 1930s. The discovery of two bodies, seemingly executed with a bullet to the head, lead a detective and an outcast jewish woman into grave danger as they try to uncover the truth.
Comparison: Alan Furst, David Downing, Jed Rubenfeld Who is Maxim Jakubowski ?
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City of Shadows by Michael Russell
Dublin 1934: Detective Stefan Gillespie arrests a German doctor and encounters Hannah Rosen desperate to find her friend Susan, a Jewish woman who disappeared after a love affair with a Catholic priest. When the bodies of a man and woman are found buried in the Dublin mountains, Stefan becomes involved in a complex case that takes him, and Hannah, across Europe to Danzig. Stefan and Hannah are drawn together in an unfamiliar city where the Nazi Party are gaining power. But in their quest to uncover the truth of what happened to Susan, they find themselves in grave danger ...
'Russell weaves a beautifully rich tapestry that shows through the taste and texture of his words the rich lusciousness of the Emerald Isle alongside the grimy streets of Dublin and the infected avenues of Danzig as Nazism rears its ugly head. This is a sterling debut not to be rushed, but to be savoured.'
.crimesquad.com 'This debut novel is a superb, atmospheric thriller. The author, a TV scriptwriter, has brought his skills to produce a page turner of high quality, populated by a marvellous set of fictional characters, interwoven cleverly with real characters of the era. Highly recommended.
'This is a great insight into a turbulent time in Dublin and Ireland, in a challenging-to-your-heartbeat kind of way.'
'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.'
About the Author
Michael Russell read English at Oxford before spending the next 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 two years in the Drama Department, first as Script Consultant then Producer, before leaving ITV to write full-time. He is a regular contributor to Midsommer Murders and recently scripted the last ever Touch of Frost which topped the ratings. He left to become a full-time television writer, before finally writing what he had started out intending to write, a novel. He now lives in Ireland with his wife, his children and step-children, and a large Rhodesian Ridgeback dog.
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