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The Resistance: A Thriller (A Louis Morgon Thriller) Hardcover – August 21, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: A Louis Morgon Thriller (Book 4)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (August 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250003717
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250003713
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,340,582 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for The Resistance
"Three decades after it began, an unlikely investigator examines the way the Nazi occupation of France turned neighbor against neighbor and led to murder. . . . A subtle and complex thriller/whodunit, written with wit, intelligence and luminous precision."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Brilliant, evocative, elegiac, and suffused with sadness. . . . The Resistance is a powerful and beautiful reminder of Faulkner's dictum that the only thing truly worth writing about is 'the human heart in conflict with itself'."
--Booklist, starred review.

"A mystery concerning a possible traitor in the ranks of the resistance carries over into the present. Steiner brings the period to life in a compelling manner."
--Publishers Weekly

Praise for The Resistance

A subtle and complex thriller/whodunit, written with wit, intelligence and luminous precision.

About the Author

PETER STEINER is the author of three previous books in this series, Le Crime, L'Assassin, and The Terrorist. A former New Yorker cartoonist, Steiner lives in Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

Dull is an understatement but the worst is dialogue that is stilted and unrealistic.
J. Harrison
The book is well written, richly develops the characters and paints a detailed picture of one of history's dark hours.
Igor Dumbadze
I started reading a book about one thing and all of a sudden it became a book about something else entirely.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Joan Stone on October 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this wonderful novel shortly after finishing Mission to Paris by Alan Furst, who is far better known than Steiner. Both books are set in France during World War II, but The Resistance by Steiner is far more ambitious, nuanced and complex. Although technically also a thriller, it transcends the genre and takes on large moral issues that linger in a reader's mind. The suspense doesn't start building till the third chapter or so, but I got so absorbed in it that I didn't want it to end. The story is very atmospheric, conveying the deadly and wrenching nature of daily life under enemy occupation. It follows a set of ordinary French villagers forced to resist or collaborate with their new Nazi rulers. The characters face successive dilemmas and get swept up in dangerous events, sometimes taking sides by default rather than choice. The mysteries of the plot are bound up with the moral ambiguities of the situation in which these hapless characters find themselves. Which side is each person on? Can you trust your oldest friends? Not all resistance fighters are noble. Not all Nazis, or people who consort with them, are evil. Who are the real heroes, in the novel and in life? As you reach the end of the story, there's a succession of breathtaking, but completely plausible, surprises.

The Resistance is a real find - civilized, well paced and important. I loved it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Quixote010 VINE VOICE on August 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In recent months, it seems I have stumbled across a number of novels dealing with early World War II events. The Resistance is another and I would certainly put this one at the top of my list.

I am unfamiliar with other novels written my the author, but apparently Louis Morgon is a former CIA operative who leaves the organization to relocate to France. Morgon is a reoccuring character in Steiner's novels, but in this case, he plays a lesser role since the tale revolves around Morgon's discovery of a box beneath the floorboards of an old farm house he is renovating. Finding sketchy details in papers within the box, Morgon approaches the constable of the French village called Saint-Leon in hopes of discovering more information as to why the box was hidden in the first place. Coincidentally, policeman Jean Renard's father happened to be constable of the village during the war and he is named in the paper. Morgon thinks Renard might also be curious in the box and approaches him for assistance in uncovering its history.

At this point the story reverts to the early years of the war when France is over-run by the German army and people come to grips with their new occupiers. Slowly Steiner presents us with details of the war and the people it affected.

The book is appealing on several levels. Steiner obviously loves France. His presentation regarding the countryside and the people living there makes it easy to imagine sitting at a local cafe and flavoring the croussants, smelling the flowers and fresh-cut hay, and watching villagers ride by on their bicycles. Part of the joy of reading this book was Steiner's concised, but not overblown, details surrounding the small village of Saint-Leon-sur-Deme.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
In 1974, Secretary of State fires CIA espionage agent Louis Morgon after lecturing the field operative for incompetency and probably being a traitor. Stunned, Louis loses his wife and two children when they leave him as his spouse says he has become a withdrawn stranger to them. Despondent, he goes to France to live.

Morgon purchases a fixer-upper in Saint-Leon-sur-Dême. During the renovation he finds hidden documents and pistols tied to the French resistance in a crawl space under the floorboards. Believing a crime was committed during the Nazi occupation, Morgon brings the cache to his friend police officer Jean Renard. The gendarme feels personally affected as his father had the identical job as the letter writer under the Vichy puppet regime. Increasingly Morgon and Renard believe someone betrayed the resistance during WWII.

This is a superb Louis Morgon thriller (see L'Assassin and The Terrorist), which raises questions about war crimes, patriotism and survival when an occupied army controls your country. Ironically, Morgon plays less of a role than usual as he is more the second banana catalyst enabling readers to learn what happened in WWII France. Instead characters from the 1940s like Simon the Berlin Jewish French resistance leader, marvelous Marie and Nazis with hearts make this a winner as war is hell on everyone except fat cat chicken hawks.

Harriet Klausner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tony Covatta on July 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I read this book after meeting the author at a dinner party. He is a charming, intelligent and unassuming man. He didn't push the book, but spoke knowledgeably about the French Resistance during the dark days of World War II. I think that critics who complain because it is not a conventional mystery are missing the point. Steiner is doing something different here, throwing his spy hero Morgon into a historical situation to see if he can make sense of it.

I liked the book because it does not come up with easy answers. As Steiner and I had discussed at the dinner, you never know how people are going to react under pressure, and that is one of the main themes of the book. During the days of the German occupation of France apparently patriotic Frenchmen were secretly in league with the Nazis. Apparent collaborators were actually saving the lives of their fellow countrymen and women. The book portrays this with telling effect. I read the whole book in a couple of days. It was gripping and thoughtful.

Interestingly it takes a different tack from many artworks that deal with the same era. For instance, I love the seldom shown movie, Kingdom of Shadows, about the French Resistance, with a very positive portrait of one of my all time heros, Jean Moulin, the driving force of the Resistance whose grave can be visited in the Pantheon in Paris. The Film is great, but has no moral ambiguity. Moulin and the Resistance fighters are good, the Nazis are horrible, and there is no room for anything or one in between. This book however shows how difficult it can be to wager your life when your odds of survival might be better if you only stayed quiet.

But what kind of world would it be if we all did that?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

PETER STEINER was born and grew up in Cincinnati. After the University of Miami and the Free University of Berlin, and then after serving in the army in Germany, he got a PHD. in German literature. He taught at Dickinson College for eight years, but left teaching to become an artist and cartoonist. For the next twenty-five years he made his living as a cartoonist for The New Yorker and many other publications. He created the cartoon "On the internet nobody knows you're a dog," the most reproduced cartoon The New Yorker has ever published. In the late 1990's he began writing novels, at first for his own amusement. Then his first novel, A French Country Murder was published in 2003. His second followed in 2008; his third in 2010. He lives in Connecticut and spends a good part of each year in rural France, where all three of his books take place. He divides his time between writing and painting. His paintings can be seen on his website,

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