In Alan Furst's superb 12th novel of World War II-era European espionage, it is late in the summer of 1938. Hollywood film star Fredric Stahl is on his way to Paris to make a movie, where the Nazis plan to use him as an "agent of influence" against France. What they don't know is that Stahl, horrified by the Nazi war on Jews and intellectuals, is already part of a spy service run from the American embassy. Animated by Furst's beautifully drawn characters (foreign assassins, a glamorous Russian actress-turned-spy, and the women in Stahl's life), the novel's center is Paris itself—its bistros, its hotels grand and anonymous, and its people, living every night as though it were their last.
"Vividly re-creates the excitement and growing gloom of the City of Light in 1938–39.... It doesn't get more action-packed and grippingly atmospheric than this."—Boston Globe
"One of [Furst's] best.... This is the romantic Paris to make a tourist weep.... In Furst's densely populated books, hundreds of minor characters—clerks, chauffeurs, soldiers, whores—all whirl around his heroes in perfect focus for a page or two, then dot by dot, face by face, they vanish, leaving a heartbreaking sense of the vast Homeric epic that was World War II and the smallness of almost every life that was caught up in it."—NYTBR
"A book no reader will put down until the final page.... Critics compare Furst to Graham Greene and John le Carré [as] a master of historical espionage."—Library Journal (starred review)
"Alan Furst's writing reminds me of a swim in perfect water on a perfect day, fluid and exquisite. One wants the feeling to go on forever, the book to never end.... Furst is one of the finest spy novelists working today."—Publishers Weekly
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