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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Gazelle in the Shadows by Michelle Peach is an enthralling tale of adventure and espionage set in the mid-90s. Elizabeth Booth is a student of Arabic at Durham University, someone who loves to travel, obsessed with the desire to visit legendary places. When the opportunity is offered for her to travel to Damascus to perfect her language skills, it is a dream come true. In Syria, she feels welcomed and builds new friendships and a relationship, but little does she know that the calm waters of this culture hide dangerous currents. Soon she is caught up in a web of lies and betrayal, a murder that involves MI6 and the Syrian secret police. Can she make it out alive?
The narrative begins fairly slowly with an encounter with the professor but it gathers speed pretty quickly and the reader is soon immersed in the emotional life of the protagonist, following her through exotic and lush places as she navigates this new culture and an ancient city. The language is gorgeous and the terrific descriptions capture cultural and physical details of the city with precision, giving readers clear images of where the story takes place. Gazelle in the Shadows features an interesting cast of characters, a strong and suspenseful plot nourished by a multifaceted conflict, and a setting that equally entices the reader. Michelle Peach takes readers into an adventure that is fraught with danger, along with the compelling protagonist. This is a book that makes the reader feel as though they are part of the world it describes.