An Autumn evening in 1937. A German engineer arrives at the Warsaw railway station. Tonight, he will be with his Polish mistress; tomorrow, at a workers' bar in the city's factory district, he will meet with the military attache from the French embassy. Information will be exchanged for money. So begins The Spies of Warsaw, with war coming to Europe, and French and German operatives locked in a life-and-death struggle on the espionage battlefield. At the French embassy, the new military attache, Colonel Jean-Francois ...
An Autumn evening in 1937. A German engineer arrives at the Warsaw railway station. Tonight, he will be with his Polish mistress; tomorrow, at a workers' bar in the city's factory district, he will meet with the military attache from the French embassy. Information will be exchanged for money. So begins The Spies of Warsaw, with war coming to Europe, and French and German operatives locked in a life-and-death struggle on the espionage battlefield. At the French embassy, the new military attache, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, a decorated hero of the 1914 war, is drawn in to a world of abduction, betrayal and intrigue in the diplomatic salons and back alleys of Warsaw. At the same time, the handsome aristocrat finds himself in a passionate love affair with a Parisian woman of Polish heritage, a lawyer for the League of Nations. Colonel Mercier must work in the shadows, amidst an extraordinary cast of venal and dangerous characters -- Colonel Anton Vyborg of Polish military intelligence, last seen in Furst's The Polish Officer; the mysterious and sophisticated Doctor Lapp, senior German Abwehr officer in Warsaw; Malka and Viktor Rozen, at work for the Russian secret service; and Mercier's brutal and vindictive opponent, Major August Voss of SS counterintelligence. And there are many more, some known to Mercier as spies, some never to be revealed. The Spies of Warsaw is Alan Furst's finest novel to date -- the history is precise, the writing evocative and powerful, more a novel about spies than a spy novel -- exciting, atmospheric, erotic and impossible to put down.
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A thoroughly satisfying novel of love and espionage in World War II Europe where the Gestapo lurks seemingly everywhere, the ambience of Paris is changeless, and the spy is challenged both to adapt to constant changes and to remain true to himself.
Oct 16, 2009
Yet again! Another fabulous tale of the war . . .
In his latest novel Alan Furst again examines the life and times of people caught up in the maelstrom of World War 2 in Europe. Furst has a unique talent for weaving a complex of characters and settings into the entire series of books he has written about the late 1930s and 1940s. Whether in Poland or Paris, Berlin or Budapest...his tales are so well crafted you will read them over and over again. Here his tale returns to the Poland we first met in the Polish Officer....
Jul 1, 2009
Excellent Spy Reading!
To read Alan Furst is to step down from a time machine. There you are, smack in the last century, with the sights, sounds and emotions of a time past swirling about you. What an exhilarating experience! It's not hard to enter Furst's world with your intellect and your emotions firmly tied together. The reader emerges with a clear perspective of what it was really like "there" and "back then".
"The Spies of Warsaw" takes the reader into the world of World War II spy and counterspy from its own calm and analytical perspective. The drama is not in its seeming impossibility, but rather in its reality. European nations sit side by side in close proximity which isn't always comfortable. Their constant suspicion of each other's motives is justified, and becomes a horrible reality when war breaks out and your neighbor becomes your worst enemy.
Beware! Once you start reading this book you may have trouble putting it down!
May 1, 2009
a little slow to start with but picks up as you get to know the characters. authentic picture of warsaw during WW II
Sep 18, 2008
Furst at his typical best
Alan Furst's latest novel, The Spies of Warsaw, will not disappoint long-time fans of the historically-based fiction author, and it should spawn a new batch of readers. Full of interesting characters, and a wonderful sense of place, this work, like most of his prior efforts, does not try to exceed the limits of reality. He keeps the essential plot within the bounds of reason, focusing more on development of character, as well as describing what society was like at the time. It is quite evident that his penchant for researching actual documents and diaries of the time in which he bases his novels, serves him, and the reader well. No "kiss-kiss, bang-bang" spy novel, this is a testimony to the brave people who had to cope with the times in which they lived.
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