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  • Alan Furst is widely recognized as the master of the historical spy novel. He is the author of Night Soldiers, Dark Star, The Polish Officer, The World at Night, Red Gold, and Kingdom of Shadows. Born in New York, he has lived for long periods in France, especially Paris. Often compared to Graham Greene and Eric Ambler, Alan Furst is a master of the spy thriller and one of the great war novelists of our time.


  The Polish Officer
September 1939. As Warsaw falls to Hitler’s Wehrmacht, Captain Alexander de Milja is recruited by the intelligence service of the Polish underground. His mission: to transport the national gold reserve to safety, hidden on a refugee train to Bucharest. Then, in the back alleys and black-market bistros of Paris, in the tenements of Warsaw, with partizan guerrillas in the frozen forests of the Ukraine, and at Calais Harbor during an attack by British bombers, de Milja fights in the war of the shadows in a world without rules, a world of danger, treachery, and betrayal... Read more...

  Blood of Victory
In 1939, as the armies of Europe mobilized for war, the British secret services undertook operations to impede the exportation of Roumanian oil to Germany. They failed. Then, in the autumn of 1940, they tried again.

So begins Blood of Victory, a novel rich with suspense, historical insight, and the powerful narrative immediacy we have come to expect from bestselling author Alan Furst. The book takes its title from a speech given by a French senator at a conference on petroleum in 1918: Oil, he said, the blood of the earth, has become, in time of war, the blood of victory.

November 1940. The Russian writer I. A. Serebin arrives in Istanbul by Black Sea freighter. Although he travels on behalf of an émigré organization based in Paris, he is in flight from a dying and corrupt Europe—specifically, from Nazi-occupied France. Serebin finds himself facing his fifth war, but this time he is an exile, a man without a country, and there is no army to join. Still, in the words of Leon Trotsky, "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you." Serebin is recruited for an operation run by Count Janos Polanyi, a Hungarian master spy now working for the British secret services.

The battle to cut Germany’s oil supply rages through the spy haunts of the Balkans; from the Athenée Palace in Bucharest to a whorehouse in Izmir; from an elegant yacht club in Istanbul to the river docks of Belgrade; from a skating pond in St. Moritz to the fogbound banks of the Danube; in sleazy nightclubs and safe houses and nameless hotels; amid the street fighting of a fascist civil war.

Blood of Victory is classic Alan Furst, combining remarkable authenticity and atmosphere with the complexity and excitement of an outstanding spy thriller. As Walter Shapiro of Time magazine wrote,  "Nothing can be like watching Casablanca for the first time, but Furst comes closer than anyone has in years...." Read more...

  Dark Star
Paris, Moscow, Berlin, and Prague, 1937. In the back alleys of nighttime Europe, war is already under way. André Szara, survivor of the Polish pogroms and the Russian civil wars and a foreign correspondent for Pravda, is co-opted by the NKVD, the Soviet secret intelligence service, and becomes a full-time spymaster in Paris. As deputy director of a Paris network, Szara finds his own star rising when he recruits an agent in Berlin who can supply crucial information. Dark Star captures not only the intrigue and danger of clandestine life but the day-to-day reality of what Soviet operatives call special work... Read more...

  Red Gold
Autumn 1941: In a shabby hotel off the place Clichy, the course of the war is about to change. German tanks are rolling toward Moscow. Stalin has issued a decree: All partisan operatives are to strike behind enemy lines—from Kiev to Brittany. Set in the back streets of Paris and deep in occupied France, Red Gold moves with quiet menace as predators from the dark edge of war—arms dealers, lawyers, spies, and assassins—emerge from the shadows of the Parisian underworld. In their midst is Jean Casson, once a well-to-do film producer, now a target of the Gestapo living on a few francs a day. As the occupation tightens, Casson is drawn into an ill-fated mission: running guns to combat units of the French Communist Party. Reprisals are brutal. At last the real resistance has begun. Red Gold masterfully re-creates the shadow world of French resistance in the darkest days of World War II... Read more...

  The World at Night
Paris, 1940. The civilized, upper-class life of film producer Jean Casson is derailed by the German occupation of Paris, but Casson learns that with enough money, compromise, and connections, one need not deny oneself the pleasures of Parisian life. Somewhere inside Casson, though, is a stubborn romantic streak. When he’s offered the chance to take part in an operation of the British secret service, this idealism gives him the courage to say yes. A simple mission, but it goes wrong, and Casson realizes he must gamble everything—his career, the woman he loves, life itself. Here is a brilliant re-creation of France—its spirit in the moment of defeat, its valor in the moment of rebirth... Read more...

 
Night Soldiers



Bulgaria, 1934. A young man is murdered by the local fascists. His brother, Khristo Stoianev, is recruited into the NKVD, the Soviet secret intelligence service, and sent to Spain to serve in its civil war. Warned that he is about to become a victim of Stalin’s purges, Khristo flees to Paris. Night Soldiers masterfully re-creates the European world of 1934–45: the struggle between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia for Eastern Europe, the last desperate gaiety of the beau monde in 1937 Paris, and guerrilla operations with the French underground in 1944. Night Soldiers is a scrupulously researched panoramic novel, a work on a grand scale... Read more...

  Kingdom of Shadows
In spymaster Alan Furst's most electrifying thriller to date, Hungarian aristocrat Nicholas Morath—a hugely charismatic hero—becomes embroiled in a daring and perilous effort to halt the Nazi war machine in eastern Europe... Read more...

articles and reviews

 

Review of 'Kingdom of Shadows' by Alan Furst at HoustonChronicle.com
Crime Time On-Line reviews Kingdom of Shadows by Alan Furst - Crime Time covers reviews, features, interviews and profiles.
Review of Alan Furst, Dark Star - By Brad DeLong - Read why Mr. DeLong would recommend Alan Furst's Dark Star novel to better understand the world before World War II.
Kingdom of Shadows reviewed by James McNamara - "A Noir Story - Alan Furst's delicately shaded new mystery." Yale Review of Books.
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