From Publishers Weekly
Furst's reputation as one of today's best writers, in any genre, is further solidified by this gripping historical thriller with echoes of Graham Greene, which opens in Paris in December 1938. Journalist Carlo Weisz, an expatriate Italian who's half Slav, is fighting the Mussolini regime by writing for the Paris-based underground opposition newspaper, the Liberazione
. When agents of the OVRA, the Italian secret police, murder the Liberazione
's editor in the arms of his mistress, Weisz assumes greater responsibility for keeping the paper running. OVRA also targets Weisz and his surviving colleagues, forcing him to scramble to stay alive while continuing his subversive work. Furst (Night Soldiers
) excels at characterization, making even secondary figures such as shadowy presences from British intelligence and Nazi minders more than cartoon stereotypes. Through the exploits of his understated hero, Furst presents a potent portrait of Europe on the eve of WWII. (June)
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Critics seem remorseful about handing Alan Furst less-than-glowing reviews. Widely acknowledged as a modern master of the spy thriller (he's often named alongside John le Carré and Graham Greene) and a masterful prose stylist, Furst leapt onto the scene with Night Soldiers
and has since delivered acclaimed best sellers like Blood of Victory
and Dark Star
. Some reviewers happily embrace Furst's well-researched, atmospheric espionage, but a small minority grouses that, for all the lovely Parisian scenery and international intrigue, the story of an embattled journalist just isn't compelling. It's anything but a run-of-the-mill spy story, but without the palpable adventure of his earlier books, it's just ordinary for Furst.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.