About the author ( info gathered from Michelle’s website)
Michelle Peach is a British, but has American Citizenship and lives’ in Atlanta with her husband and three children. She graduated from Durham University in Arabic with Middle Eastern and Islamic studies. She has worked in the British Embassy’s in Sana’a and Yemen Arab Republic. Michelle also studied in Damascus, Syria and Lebanon. As well as an author she is a stay at home mum.
Publication date: 20th April 2018
Publisher: Michelle Peach
ISBN: Paperback 978-0-692-11276-2
Also available in Ebook
Pages: 318 pages
Genre: Historical Thriller/ Mystery
Format reading: Paperback
Copy provided by: Kelsey from a book publicity service in exchange for my honest thoughts
Blurb (as seen on the back cover)
In the mid 90’s Elizabeth Booth is a young British college student studying Arabic at Durham University. With some travel and work already under her belt, she excels at her studies and is sent to Damascus to immerse herself in the language. Taken aback by the generosity and kindness of people there, she easily slips into a life in the ancient city. She has friends, her studies, and even a handsome boyfriend. But things aren’t always what they seem. Soon, in a world where mistrust and disloyalty are common place, Elizabeth finds herself navigating a web of lies, betrayals and even murder involving MI6, the British secret service, deadly terrorist factions and the shadowy Syrian secret people.
Before I start my review, I would just like to say a massive thank you to Kelsey from a book publicity service and Michelle Peach for asking me to read and to give my honest thoughts on Gazelle in the Shadows and for providing me with a paperback.
The front cover for this book having read it now is perfect for this story. It appears to be done in a charcoal drawing. The sky is shaded dark and gets lighter as it reaches the mountains and the skyline of the buildings. The sun beams down casting the shadows of the buildings on the ground. A woman walks alone in the shadows. Bothe the title and Michelle’s name is done in a swirly font but has the Arabic-ness about it with the odd dot.
Gazelle in the Shadows is set in the mid 90’s and follows the story of young Elizabeth Booth; who study’s Arabic at Durham University. She formerly worked for the British Embassy in the diplomatic service; in far away places like Yemen and Egypt. She is desperate to continue her studies on placement and get away from her family when anything she did was never good enough. Elizabeth is sent to Damascus on her own, with no other student’s on the merit of her pro experience.
On the flight over to Damascus she meets flight attendant Asim and his friend Hassein. They all get along chatting and their kindness shines through when they say they have somewhere she can stay when she get’s there. On arrival they take her deep in to the city to a couple around her mother and father’s age. There is a language barrier but they would round it. The next day Hassein and his driver Naguib come to collect her and Hassein has a heated chat with the man of the house. Hassein tells Elizabeth she can’t stay there anymore as the couple were unhappy with them coming to take her out. On her way out the lady tells her not to lose herself. They show her round the city and take her to another pace to stay in a house full of women. In this time Hassein pick’s her up daily until she starts her studying; showing her round, in private they start a relationship and Elizabeth starts to fall in love. She be friends on of the lady’s in the houses called Fatama and Elizabeth can only see their kindness and not what lies beneath. Are they all really being kind and helpful to Elizabeth? Who are these women? Does Hassein really love Elizabeth? Will he try to convert her from a catholic to Muslim? Will alarm bells start to ring to late? How will she get on at school? Will she make friends? Does anyone know about her previous work with the British Embassy? What has she got her self into?
Gazelle in the Shadows quit literally had me on the edge of my seat, from beginning to the very end. Michelle’s writing left me wanting to find out more after every chapter and I couldn’t help but read on! At the beginning of the story Elizabeth really does have her rose-tinted glasses on because she was so trusting of everyone, mistaking kindness of something that was more sinister and scary than she could every have imagined. I was gripped to her journey and found myself wanting to tell her to wake up and see what was going on. I found that Michelle’s knowledge of the history in that time really shines through the whole book. I really found this interesting because in the mid 90’s I was a young teenager and didn’t really take much notice of the news so this book taught me a lot. Michelle’s detail and description is very good really making me see the story before my very eye’s and awaking all my scenes.
Gazelle in the shadows is a very poignant and thought-provoking story that keep’s you gripped to the very end.
Marie’s Book Boutique gives
Gazelle in the Shadows by Michelle Peach
5 Sparkly Stars