2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Adequate old fashioned espionage novel,
This review is from: The Spies Of Warsaw (Paperback)
This is the first Alan Furst book I have read and it was acceptable but I wouldn't get carried away about it and I am not tempted to read any other books by Alan Furst.
It's not really a thriller at all. It was most entertaining in its brief ventures into tradecraft but there was little tension and the romance sat rather oddly. I gather Mercier appears in other books so that may be part of the development of his story for other books rather than having anything to do with the plot of this one; I found it nicely done but a bit of a distraction. No-one behaved surprisingly, there were no twists and turns.
The only reason that I can see for mentioning John le Carre's wonderful novels is to highlight the differences, with le Carre being in a different league altogether. le Carre's novels were set in the Cold War so the political background is completely different, one in which no-one could be sure of anyone's motives; you didn't know who your friends or your enemies were and sometimes weren't even clear about your own motives or if you were you never said. People are sacrificed or put at risk by those with the power. That makes le Carre's books about that period complex, unendingly fascinating and worthy of re-reading and these are not words I would use to describe this book. It's fine as far as it goes, a glimpse of espionage carried out by professionals rather like members of a gentlemen's club with the occasional glimpse of the less disciplined world of the agent Uhl or the thugs who chase Mercier but then gets safely back to the salon.