2303 FURST

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ALAN FURST  has lived for long periods in France, especially in Paris, and has traveled as a journalist in Eastern Europe and Russia. He has written extensively for Esquire and the International Herald Tribune.

AUTHOR INTERVIEWS:
AUDIOBOOKS: 

The Night Soldiers audiobooks are narrated by Daniel Gerroll, who does an excellent job with the character voices and accents. Give them a listen!

 

* NIGHT SOLDIERS

Night Soldiers: A Novel by [Alan Furst]

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.

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* DARK STAR

Dark Star: A Novel (Night Soldiers Book 2) by [Alan Furst]

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.

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* THE POLISH OFFICER

The Polish Officer: A Novel (Night Soldiers Book 3) by [Alan Furst]

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.

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* THE WORLD AT NIGHT

The World at Night: A Novel (Night Soldiers Book 4) by [Alan Furst]

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.

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* RED GOLD

Red Gold: A Novel (Night Soldiers Book 5) by [Alan Furst]

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.

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* KINGDOM OF SHADOWS

Kingdom of Shadows: A Novel (Night Soldiers Book 6) by [Alan Furst]

Paris, 1938:  As Europe edges toward war, Nicholas Morath, an urbane former cavalry officer, spends his days working at the small advertising agency he owns and his nights in the bohemian circles of his Argentine mistress. But Morath has been recruited by his uncle, Count Janos Polanyi, a diplomat in the Hungarian legation, for operations against Hitler’s Germany. It is Morath who does Polanyi’s clandestine work, moving between the beach cafés of Juan-les-Pins and the forests of Ruthenia, from Czech fortresses in the Sudetenland to the private gardens of the déclassé royalty in Budapest.

The web Polanyi spins for Morath is deep and complex and pits him against German intelligence officers, NKVD renegades, and Croat assassins in a shadow war of treachery and uncertain loyalties, a war that Hungary cannot afford to lose.

Kingdom of Shadows is distinctive and entirely original. It is Furst at his very best.

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* BLOOD OF VICTORY

Blood of Victory: A Novel (Night Soldiers Book 7) by [Alan Furst]

Autumn of 1940:  Russian émigré journalist I. A. Serebin is recruited in Istanbul by an agent of the British secret services for a clandestine operation to stop German importation of Romanian oil—a last desperate attempt to block Hitler’s conquest of Europe. Serebin’s race against time begins in Bucharest and leads him to Paris, the Black Sea, Beirut, and, finally, Belgrade; his task is to attack the oil barges that fuel German tanks and airplanes.

Blood of Victory is a novel with the heart-pounding suspense, extraordinary historical accuracy, and narrative immediacy we have come to expect from Alan Furst.

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* DARK VOYAGE

Dark Voyage: A Novel (Night Soldiers Book 8) by [Alan Furst]

May 1941:  At four in the morning, a rust-streaked tramp freighter steams up the Tagus River to dock at the port of Lisbon. She is the Santa Rosa, she flies the flag of neutral Spain and is in Lisbon to load cork oak, tinned sardines, and drums of cooking oil bound for the Baltic port of Malmö.

But she is not the Santa Rosa. She is the Noordendam, a Dutch freighter. Under the command of Captain Eric DeHaan, she sails for the Intelligence Division of the British Royal Navy, and she will load detection equipment for a clandestine operation on the Swedish coast–a secret mission, a dark voyage.

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* THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT

The Foreign Correspondent: A Novel (Night Soldiers Book 9) by [Alan Furst]

Paris, a winter night in 1938:  A murder/suicide at a discreet lovers’ hotel. But this is no romantic traged–it is the work of the OVRA, Mussolini’s fascist secret police, and is meant to eliminate the editor of Liberazionea clandestine émigré newspaper. Carlo Weisz, who has fled from Trieste and secured a job as a foreign correspondent with the Reuters bureau, becomes the new editor.
Weisz is, at that moment, in Spain, reporting on the last campaign of the Spanish civil war. But as soon as he returns to Paris, he is pursued by the French Sûretéby agents of the OVRA, and by officers of the British Secret Intelligence Service. In the desperate politics of Europe on the edge of war, a foreign correspondent is a pawn, worth surveillance, or blackmail, or murder.

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* THE SPIES OF WARSAW

The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel (Night Soldiers Book 10) by [Alan Furst]

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 attaché from the French embassy. Information will be exchanged for money.

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 attaché, 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.

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* SPIES OF THE BALKANS

Spies of the Balkans: A Novel (Night Soldiers Book 11) by [Alan Furst]

Greece, 1940:  In the port city of Salonika, with its wharves and brothels, dark alleys and Turkish mansions, a tense political drama is being played out. As Adolf Hitler plans to invade the Balkans, spies begin to circle—and Costa Zannis, a senior police official, must deal with them all. He is soon in the game, working to secure an escape route for fugitives from Nazi Berlin that is protected by German lawyers, Balkan detectives, and Hungarian gangsters—and hunted by the Gestapo.

Meanwhile, as war threatens, the erotic life of the city grows passionate. For Zannis, that means a British expatriate who owns the local ballet academy, a woman from the dark side of Salonika society, and the wife of a shipping magnate. With extraordinary historical detail and a superb cast of characters, Spies of the Balkans is a stunning novel about a man who risks everything to fight back against the world’s evil.

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* MISSION TO PARIS

Mission to Paris: A Novel (Night Soldiers Book 12) by [Alan Furst]

Late summer, 1938:  Hollywood film star Fredric Stahl is on his way to Paris to make a movie. The Nazis know he’s coming—a secret bureau within the Reich has been waging political warfare against France, and for their purposes, Fredric Stahl is a perfect agent of influence. What they don’t know is that Stahl, horrified by the Nazi war on Jews and intellectuals, has become part of an informal spy service run out of the American embassy.

Mission to Paris is filled with heart-stopping tension, beautifully drawn scenes of romance, and extraordinarily alive characters: foreign assassins; a glamorous Russian actress-turned-spy; and the women in Stahl’s life. At the center of the novel is the city of Paris—its bistros, hotels grand and anonymous, and the Parisians, living every night as though it were their last. Alan Furst brings to life both a dark time in history and the passion of the human hearts that fought to survive it.

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LOOK THERE’S MORE . . .

* UNDER OCCUPATION

Under Occupation: A Novel by [Alan Furst]

Occupied Paris, 1942:  Just before he dies, a man being chased by the Gestapo hands off a strange-looking document to the unsuspecting novelist Paul Ricard. It looks like a blueprint of a part for a military weapon, one that might have important information for the Allied forces. Ricard realizes he must try to get the diagram into the hands of members of the resistance network.

As Ricard finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into anti-Nazi efforts and increasingly dangerous espionage assignments, he travels to Germany and along the escape routes of underground resistance safe houses to spy on Nazi maneuvers. When he meets the mysterious and beautiful Leila, a professional spy, they begin to work together to get crucial information out of France and into the hands of the Allied forces in London.

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* MIDNIGHT IN EUROPE

Midnight in Europe: A Novel by [Alan Furst]

Paris, 1938:  As the shadow of war darkens Europe, democratic forces on the Continent struggle against fascism and communism, while in Spain the war has already begun. Alan Furst, whom Vince Flynn has called “the most talented espionage novelist of our generation,” now gives us a taut, suspenseful, romantic, and richly rendered novel of spies and secret operatives in Paris and New York, in Warsaw and Odessa, on the eve of World War II.

Cristián Ferrar, a brilliant and handsome Spanish émigré, is a lawyer in the Paris office of a prestigious international law firm. Ferrar is approached by the embassy of the Spanish Republic and asked to help a clandestine agency trying desperately to supply weapons to the Republic’s beleaguered army—an effort that puts his life at risk in the battle against fascism.

Joining Ferrar in this mission is a group of unlikely men and women: idealists and gangsters, arms traders and aristocrats and spies. From shady Paris nightclubs to white-shoe New York law firms, from brothels in Istanbul to the dockyards of Poland, Ferrar and his allies battle the secret agents of Hitler and Franco.

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* A HERO OF FRANCE

A Hero of France: A Novel by [Alan Furst]

Paris, 1941:  The City of Light is dark and silent at night. But in Paris and in the farmhouses, barns, and churches of the French countryside, small groups of ordinary men and women are determined to take down the occupying forces of Adolf Hitler. Mathieu, a leader of the French Resistance, leads one such cell, helping downed British airmen escape back to England.

Alan Furst’s suspenseful, fast-paced thriller captures this dangerous time as no one ever has before. He brings Paris and occupied France to life, along with courageous citizens who outmaneuver collaborators, informers, blackmailers, and spies, risking everything to fulfill perilous clandestine missions. Aiding Mathieu as part of his covert network are Lisette, a seventeen-year-old student and courier; Max de Lyon, an arms dealer turned nightclub owner; Chantal, a woman of class and confidence; Daniel, a Jewish teacher fueled by revenge; Joëlle, who falls in love with Mathieu; and Annemarie, a willful aristocrat with deep roots in France, and a desire to act.

As the German military police heighten surveillance, Mathieu and his team face a new threat, dispatched by the Reich to destroy them all.

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* THE BOOK OF SPIES

     AN ANTHOLOGY OF LITERARY ESPIONAGE

The Book of Spies: An Anthology of Literary Espionage (Modern Library) by [Anthony Burgess, John Steinbeck, John le Carré, Rebecca West, Alan Furst]

Here is an extraordinary collection of work from some of the finest novelists of the twentieth century. Inspired by the politics of tyranny or war, each of these writers chose the base elements of spy fiction—highly evolved spy fiction—as the framework for a literary novel. Thus Alan Furst offers a diverse array of selections that combine raw excitement and intellectual sophistication in an expertly guided tour of the dark world of clandestine conflict.

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