Garment of Shadows

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Series: Russell & Holmes #12
Published by: Bantam Books
Release Date: 2013
Pages: 304


In a strange room in Morocco, Mary Russell is trying to solve a pressing mystery: Who am I? She has awakened with shadows in her mind, blood on her hands, and soldiers pounding on the door. Out in the hivelike streets, she discovers herself strangely adept in the skills of the underworld, escaping through alleys and rooftops, picking pockets and locks. She is clothed like a man, and armed only with her wits and a scrap of paper containing a mysterious Arabic phrase. Overhead, warplanes pass ominously north.

Meanwhile, Holmes is pulled by two old friends and a distant relation into the growing war between France, Spain, and the Rif Revolt led by Emir Abd el-Krim—who may be a Robin Hood or a power mad tribesman. The shadows of war are drawing over the ancient city of Fez, and Holmes badly wants the wisdom and courage of his wife, whom he’s learned, to his horror, has gone missing. As Holmes searches for her, and Russell searches for herself, each tries to crack deadly parallel puzzles before it’s too late for them, for Africa, and for the peace of Europe.


"No detail is merely atmospheric, but rather we taste and feel and touch what Russell does with sensuous clarity: the tile and wood interiors; the riot of aromas sweet and foul; the colors; and the layer upon layer of political machination. The language is incredibly rich but always precise, the history of this time in Morocco woven with a contemporary eye on the wheels within wheels. As always, the relationship between Holmes and Russell is utterly understated, yet traced with heat and light."
Booklist (starred)


I was in bed. A bed, at any rate.

I had been flattened by a steam-roller, trampled under a stampede of bison. Beaten by a determined thug. I ached, head to toe, fingers and skin. Mostly head.

My skull throbbed, one hot pulse for every beat of my heart. I could see it in the rhythmic dimming of an already shadowy room. I wanted to weep with the pain, but if I had to blow my nose, my skull might split like an overripe melon.

So I lay in the dim room, and watched my chart beat, and ached.

Some time later, it came to me that he angle of the vague patch of brightness across the opposite wall had changed. some time after that, an explanation slipped out between the pain-pulses: The sun had moved while I slept. A while later, another thought: Time is passing.

And with that, a tendril of urgency unfurled. I could not lie in bed, I had to be somewhere. People were depending on me. the sun would go down: I would be late.

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