No one captures the darkness descending on Europe during the years leading up to World War II and the war years themselves better than Alan Furst. The thinking man's espionage novels, they center on ordinary people trying to survive in confusing and terrifying times as the world descends into chaos. All Furst's books about those years, starting with Night Soldiers, are intelligent, atmospheric and exceptionally well written. Night Soldiers spans the years from 1934 to 1945 and follows the odyssey of Bulgarian Khristo Stoianv, whose brother's murder by fascists starts Stoianv's journey. Recruited by the Soviet NKVD his disillusionment after the Spanish Civil War causes him to turn on his Russian spymasters. As in all of Furst's novels, Paris plays a central character.
Recommended by Mary Ellen Raun