Gazelle In The Shadows by Michelle Peach
Thank you Book Publicity for sharing a copy of this book with me - all opinions are my own.
This book was a surprising delight to me - I loved how this book was so uniquely set in the Middle East in the 90's which lent an element of mystery all its own to the story.
This ended up being a very fast read once I fell into the story - between Elizabeth and the ongoing events she found herself tangled up in, and the historical reflection of Syria in a time that seems so long past, it became a book I hated to set down. I loved the detail in the story which made me feel like I was in the middle of the story myself.
Reading more on the realities of the government regime of that time was remarkably intriguing - there were parts I felt I knew and just so much that I felt I was learning for the very first time. It was an eye opener, and I appreciate a book that will teach me new things. The realities of what was happening at that time also served to heighten the suspense of the story, and it was a completely tense read at times.
While I will say I found Elizabeth's naivety wildly frustrating at times during the story, I also found her to be wonderfully sweet and gentle as a person. Watching her mature during the course of the story was immensely satisfying as a reader.
Overall this is a wonderful gem of a read, and I would absolutely recommend this for readers who like a little historical fiction/suspense, and want something that is entirely unique.
In the mid 90s, 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 the people there, she easy 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 commonplace, Elizabeth finds herself navigating a web of lies, betrayals, and even murder involving MI6, deadly terrorist factions, and the shadowy Syrian secret police.