City of Shadows - Ariana Franklin

Time has really gotten away from this last week. With Christmas and the New Year coming up, I got busy and didn't have time to write my last reviews of the year! So, here I am on New Year's Eve writing the last two reviews of 2009. How exciting!

I picked up City of Shadows by Ariana Franklin on a whim at the library a few weeks ago. I was sucked in by the look of the spine on the shelves and when I saw what it was about, I decided to check it out. The story is set in post-WWI Germany where Hitler has begun to gain popularity. Many Russians have fled the Bolsheviks in their country and have taken up residence in Berlin. The main character, Esther, is a Russian Jew and has fled the country after a pogrom. She is beautiful except for a large scar that she has on her face. She also is multilingual and uses her skills to work as a translator for a shady businessman. While she is at work one night, an intruder comes in and tries to attack her and a young woman that Esther's boss thinks is the missing Princess Anastasia. The man gets away, but a string of murders continues in Berlin and threatens Esther, the troubled young woman that might be the princess, and others that Esther knows and cares for.

The first few pages of the book were really interesting and sucked me into the story. However, there was a lull for a good 50-70 pages that made it a little difficult to sit and read for an extended period of time. Once the story got going though, I didn't want to stop reading. It had everything I like...mystery, thrills, and a little historical information on the Romanovs. I did enjoy the book and found it fairly engrossing. If you do read this, keep in mind that she wrote the book when Anastasia was still technically missing. I did a bit of reading on Wikipedia and it said that the missing bodies of the Romanov children were found and identities confirmed in 2007. Ariana Franklin wrote this book in 2006 so some of the information may be somewhat amiss because of it. It was still a fun read and the Romanovs are still as interesting as they ever were.
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