Your November Read – The City of Shadows by Michael Russell

This week we have a brilliant opportunity for 5 lucky readers to win a copy of Avon’s debut novel from author Michael Russell, The City of Shadows


Michael Russell on writing ‘The City of Shadows

This book began as a conversation with an Irish film producer about the strange position Ireland had during the Second World War, supposedly neutral but neutral in a very odd way. When German airmen crashed in the Republic they were interned for the duration of the war; when Allied airmen crashed they were given a cup of tea and put on a bus to Belfast. Dublin was not only a city where German and British spies sat across Bewley’s Café from one another and drank together in Grafton Street pubs, it was also a place where the future of Ireland depended as much on the outcome of the war as did the future of the whole of Europe. That conversation brought together many years of writing detective fiction for television and an interest in the events of the thirties and forties that shaped the world we live in now. How did Irish neutrality happen, and how did it affect the undercurrent of rebellion and intrigue that was never far below the surface of Irish life, in a country still scarred by war itself? Detective Sergeant Stefan Gillespie suddenly emerged from that conversation, fully formed, investigating a murder that drew him into the dark underbelly of Dublin, where crime, sedition, espionage and the establishment met. He is a man who for the most part simply wants to keep his life and the life of his family together, but is drawn into the turmoil that’s grabbing hold of the world. And almost immediately, out of that first murder, and the disappearance of a young woman, he finds himself following the links that take him into the heart of Nazi Europe. Those links will still be there, in different ways, confused and compromised, in future stories, as Stefan Gillespie is pulled, often reluctantly, into the events that will lead to war and then into the war itself, not only in Ireland, but in New York, in Berlin, in London, in Rome… In Ireland there is meant to be no side to be on, yet in the end, everyone has to take sides.

The 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 had become involved with a priest, and has now disappeared.

When the bodies of a man and woman are found buried in the Dublin mountains, it becomes clear that this case is about more than a missing person. Stefan and Hannah trace the evidence all the way across Europe to Danzig.

In a strange city where the Nazi Party are gaining power, Stefan and Hannah are inching closer to the truth and soon find themselves in grave danger…

To win a copy of the book is simple. Just send your name and address to and tell me which Irish City the book is set in. Told you, its easy peasey.


Happy Friday Killer Readers!

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