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Set in Greece in 1940, this powerful WWII thriller from Furst (The Spies of Warsaw) focuses on Costa Zannis, a senior Salonika police official known for his honesty and ability to settle matters before they got out of hand. As the Nazis' intentions for Europe's Jews becomes clear, Zannis goes out of his way to aid refugees seeking to escape Germany. When Mussolini's troops invade Greece, Zannis joins the army, where he meets Capt. Marko Pavlic, who as a policeman in Zagreb investigated crimes committed by the Ustashi, Croatian fascists. With their similar politics, Zannis and Pavlic soon become friends and allies. Subtle details foreshadow the coming crimes perpetrated by the Nazis in the Balkans. For example, Zannis learns from a colleague that someone has been taking photos of the contents of a synagogue so that the Germans can more easily identify what to plunder. Furst fans will welcome seeing more books set in less familiar parts of Europe. (June)
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Spies of the Balkans is a cut above the usual espionage fare; it excels in plot, character, and atmosphere--an unusual combination for the genre. Zannis, a younger prototype of characters seen in Furst's previous novels, especially captivated critics, as did the author's "Furstland," "a twilight realm of people on the run--refugees, Jews, leftists and others out of political favor" (Denver Post). Richly researched, the novel offers a compelling portrait of wartime, with few clichés. Only the Chicago Sun-Times criticized some less-developed characters and the plethora of historical detail. Most readers, however, will find that there "is no more intelligent or gripping writer of spy fiction today than Alan Furst" (Daily Beast). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
An interesting yet realistic take on a strange time as World War Two developed throughout eastern Europe.Published 2 days ago by John Allan Barnes
An exciting spy thriller, set during the Second World War in Salonika and the surrounding Balkan region - tense drama, colorful and imaginative, some interesting characters and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Graeme Stone
I guess I am one of the people that don't care for convoluted plots with dark corners and minimal character identification. Read morePublished 3 months ago by amac
I really enjoy Alan Furst's novels. I like the tales he tells as well as his characters who are sympathetic as well as interestingPublished 4 months ago by Phil's reviews