This is a thriller and romance set in Berlin during 1925, when the Nazi party is gathering strength and Berlin is home to many Russian refugees, the wealthy and the poverty-stricken. Natasha is one of the latter. Living in Ekaterinburg/Sverdlovsk she knows something about the murder of the Tsar and his family that the Bolsheviks need to know, and if possible suppress. Philip Gibson is an Englishman in Berlin because of the mystery surrounding a very sick woman claiming to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia. He saves Natasha from an attack on her life, and helps her.
The Berlin background is excellently portrayed, with the decadence of the Russian elite and the grey misery of the homeless and workless. Threading through the novel is the mystery of the identity of the woman who may be Anastasia, and the rejection by those who ought to be closest to her. There is the menace of Natasha’s enemies, and her growing love for Philip. A sense of danger is ever-present. Written before the mystery of Anastasia’s death was finally resolved, the story and the projected solution is credible. This novel is an easy, good read, though readers looking for a novel in the style of the Adams Family series will find something rather different.