The City of Lies
By Michael Russell
In the style of Benjamin Black, an evocative, literary crime thriller
Dublin, September 1940.
An IRA attempt to capture the British diplomatic bag on its way from Ireland to England leaves a Guard dead on the streets of Dublin. Two days later a pitched battle between warring gangs erupts at one of Ireland's biggest race meetings. In the Irish countryside, the cremated bodies of a family of four are found in their burned-out house.
Connections between these events become clear to Detective Inspector Stefan Gillespie when he is dispatched to investigate the four dead bodies - or is he there to cover something up? He is soon treading on the toes of Ireland's burgeoning Intelligence industry - Irish, British and German, all playing against each other, all watching each other, all plagued by rogue operators they can't control. Meanwhile certainty grows that Hitler is about to invade England, with Ireland in the firing line.
And then Stefan is asked to go to Berlin on a sensitive mission the Irish government doesn't want anyone to know about. The journey will take him not only to Berlin and the heart of the war, but to a murder that touches the city's small Irish community and opens a window on to the heart of Europe's darkness...
After a successful career as a television writer and producer, working on such series as A Touch of Frost, Midsomer Murders and Between the Lines, Michael Russell decided to write what he had always wanted to: books.
The City in Darkness is the third of his Stefan Gillespie stories of historical crime fiction, taking a sideways look at the Second World War through Irish eyes, and exploring some unexpected corners of the conflict, such as Danzig, New York and, in The City in Darkness, the cities of Franco's Spain. The first two Stefan Gillespie novels, The City of Shadows and The City of Strangers were both shortlisted for Crime Writers' Association awards.
Michael lives with his family in West Wicklow, in Ireland, not a million miles from Stefan Gillespie's home.
- Other details
- Publication date:
04 May 2017
- Page count:
Atmospheric thriller — Sunday Times
Michael Russell is a master at building tension. This is a thriller to keep you guessing and gasping — Daily Mail
Having already brought 1930s Dublin and Danzig vividly to life in his outstanding debut The City of Shadows, Russell does the same for New York in a sequel that's even better. The unique complexity of Ireland's divided loyalties and enmities on the eve of the Second World War is explored with unusual clarity and intelligence, and there are plenty of thrills and spills too — Crime Writers' Association Jury
Complex but compelling ... utterly vivid and convincing ... Michael Russell's style is a pleasure: easy, fluent, clear, always calm and never over-heated. The result is an exciting comfort read, which sounds like a paradox but isn't — Independent on Sunday
Part thriller and part historical novel, this is a blinder of a read! — The Sun
A great insight into a turbulent time in Dublin and Ireland, in a challenging-to-your-heartbeat kind of way — Evening Herald
A superb, atmospheric thriller...A page turner of high quality, populated by a marvellous set of fictional characters, interwoven cleverly with real characters of the era. Highly recommended — Irish Independent
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 — Jewish Chronicle