A friend sent me Alan Furst’s most recent espionage thriller, “The Foreign Correspondent,” and I have been lost in the Europe of 1938 and 1939---the final collapse of Republican Spain, Germany’s entrance into Czechoslovakia, the anti-fascist Italian resistance, and a Paris filled with the displaced.
It’s easy to “get lost” in Furst’s novels because they are so meticulously researched. The look and feel and emotional tone of a Europe tuned cold and gray by what has been called “the banality of Evil” surrounds the characters… to which small, yet terrible, things happen. In such a world love is sad, heroism sometimes accidental, and tension unrelieved.
Reviewer Nancy Pate wrote in the Orlando Sentinel:
“Some books you read. Others you live. They seep into your dreams and haunt your waking hours until eventually they seem the stuff of memory and experience. Such are the novels of Alan Furst, who uses the shadowy world of espionage to illuminate history and politics with a gripping immediacy.”
Furst has a web site. Be sure to watch (and listen to) the opening montage. Link
(Photo by Shorma Valeska)