-- Houston Chronicle Autumn 1937: War is coming to Europe. French and German intelligence operatives are locked in a life-and-death struggle on the espionage battlefield. Read more...
-- Houston Chronicle Autumn 1937: War is coming to Europe. French and German intelligence operatives are 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 into 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, amid an extraordinary cast of venal and dangerous characters -- Colonel Anton Vyborg of Polish military intelligence; the mysterious and sophisticated Dr. 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 Furst's finest novel to date -- exciting, atmospheric, erotic, and impossible to put down.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 68.
- Review Date: 2008-07-28
- Reviewer: Staff
Furst, master of the historical spy novel, offers this meticulously detailed and sprawling epic set at the onset of WWII. Drenched in romance and espionage and given to thrilling plot twists, the novel is beautifully realized by Daniel Gerroll, whose mastery of variously accented English dialects lends added authenticity to Furst's tale. Providing gritty and realistic German, French, and even Russian accents, Englishman Gerroll displays a natural stage presence and true performance ability. There is a subtle theatrical aspect at play here as well, creating a mysterious and enchanting atmosphere for the audience. A Random hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 14). (June)
A world on the brink of war
As a big Alan Furst fan, I've been hoping for unabridged recordings of his novelsfinally, one arrived and it's been worth the wait. The Spies of Warsaw, impeccably read by Daniel Gerroll, is quintessential Furst: elegant, sophisticated, vividly detailed and deeply atmospheric, with a quiet, ominous tristesseafter all this is historical espionage and we know what happened. Warsaw, 1937: the Nazis are a threatening, sinister presence; the French, strong allies of Poland, are assuring themselves that the Maginot Line will protect them from attack. We get a close-up, a cameo, of what it was like in that frigid, snow-blanketed city, buzzing with rumors, where competing intelligence operations bumped up against each other, through the eyes of Col. Jean-François Mercier, a World War I hero, a man of honor and a true patriot. Mercier, posted as French military attaché, runs what day-to-day spy operations he can and picks up information at cocktail parties and boring diplomatic dinners. When the action heats up, it does so without unnecessary razzle-dazzle, making the derring-do believable and all the more suspenseful.