City of Shadows Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of City of Shadows

In the Berlin of the 1920's, inflation is rampant. Middle income people find their savings worthless, black markets thrive, and nightclubs, strip parlors, and the forerunners of gay and lesbian bars are packed each evening as curious tourists with hard currency to spend fill the tables and drink the cheap liquor.
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Esther, a young Jewish woman finds a steady job in a shady nightclub thanks to her proficiency in several languages. When the nightclub proprietor befriends an eccentric mental patient and announces plans to pass her off as Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia, Esther finds herself involved against her better judgement. And problems multiply as it becomes clear that the mysterious woman's irrational fears are not so irrational after all - someone is stalking her at regular intervals. Two people who might know something of her past are found dead, tortured and their throats slashed open. Esther's assignment to keep the mysterious "Anastasia" safe is threatened with disaster.

In the meantime, the Berlin police force faces the same deprivations as the rest of the populace. Something in the chain of events involving Esther and murders occurring among her acquaintances attracts Detective Schmidt and he becomes convinced that Esther is correct - there is a mass murderer at work in Berlin.

Ten years later, in the weeks just prior to Hitler's becoming Chancellor,more murders occur, the chain of authority in the ranks of the police force is in turmoil as the Gestapo takes over, and Schmidt and Esther strive to make sense of it all.
The review of this Book prepared by A R Pickett

Chapter Analysis of City of Shadows

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 30% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   1930's-1950's Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   politics Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   photographer Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   German


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Germany City?    -   Yes City:    -   dangerous

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Ariana Franklin Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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