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on 21 March 2014
The Polish Officer follows Alexander de Milja, an officer in the cartography section of Polish Military Intelligence, for several years from the Nazi invasion of Poland. On the cover, there are quotes detailing it as ‘one of the best books of the year’. I don’t know if I’d assign it quite that level of quality, but I very much enjoyed it.

Other reviewers have praised this book for not being episodic - I thought it was. Rather than one over-arching storyline, which I was expecting, the book is really a series of little vignettes, each detailing a mission or space between missions. The women in the book, too, are just temporary characters, passing through for a while. It made the characters hard to care for, but perhaps the point of the book wasn't to engender too much empathy.

This was the first Alan Furst book that I have read – it only took me a day to finish. Despite the unexpected structure, it won’t be my last.
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on 5 May 2014
I got this because this author has very good feedback, and also because my father was Polish so I thought it might be interesting to read a work of fiction based around his home country. Although the plot is interesting and I quite like the main character, there is a lot of expansive and irrelevant prose that at first was just irritating but now, barely half way through the book, has made me give up. The author is trying to be clever and, for me, ends up making me really not care what happens to any of his characters, Pity - in the hands of a better writer this could have been a really good read......
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on 7 May 2011
I looked at this book because of the old cliche - judging a book by its cover but when I read the blurb I was really drawn in. How glad I am that I bought the book. This book got right into the phsyche of both the spy and the Pole. As someone of Polish origin I can say that Furst captures the essence of the Polish mind set perfectly - that curious mixture of pragmatism and romanticism. The story follows the life of the Polish officer just before and during the war years. What I loved about it was the fact that it made the reader feel the transitory nature of the lives of such people - and there must have been many of them - unsung and unappreciated heroes. I like the way things are mentioned which should engender stories in themselves but they are just a fleeting moment in Captain de Milja's life and remain as such. What a great story.
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VINE VOICEon 6 September 2012
Alan Furst continues to mine the seam he has made his own: Central Europe at war in the 1930s and 40s. The Polish Officer is Alexander de Milja whom we first meet escorting Poland's gold reserves out of the country into Romania.

His war subsequently takes him to Paris (Furst heartland), to several cities in occupied France, and finally back to Poland. His escapes from summary death are narrow but never implausible. The people he encounters are carefully drawn and differentiated. The prose is stunningly spare, an atmosphere conjured vividly in two dozen words.

Like other Furst novels, The Polish Officer is episodic but at the end the reader is left with a story that has a proper trajectory, a beginning and a less than definitive end. Fans will not be disappointed.
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on 29 August 2014
I came upon Alan Furst through the BBC TV mini-series "The Spies of Warsaw" I was delighted to discover "The Polish Officer" dovetails neatly into that story. I enjoyed this book from the first page to the last page and learned a great about the Polish contribution to the fight against Hitler.

This book will appeal to any reader who enjoyed the latest Robert Harris fact based novel "An Officer and a Spy".
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on 20 June 2013
I am a great fan of Furst's writing. I was delighted to discover that I had not read this book and it does not disappoint. It catches the desperation of the Polish people at the outbreak of invasion by German and Soviet forces and the determination of one man, among many other brave people, to fight fascism and, eventually, communism. The book is marked by superb attention to detail. The only problem with Furst's books is that they end.
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on 29 March 2015
I am now addicted to the Night Soldiers series. This is a book that is superbly researched and written by a brilliant author at the top of his game. The plot is tight and develops well thought the book. There is real tension but if you are looking for all out, shoot-em-up action, look elsewhere. The strength of this book, and the series, is in the writing, the characters, the time and place in history as much as the strong plot. Fabulous.
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on 2 February 2017
I would recommend this book to everyone either warning about having to cope with strange names. I was so impressed with main character that I would have loved to have met him. I need to know what happened next. A really good historical setting which gave you an insight into that part of WW 11
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on 1 August 2014
He is a new author to me, wish I had come across him earlier.Very thought provoking,well written with plausible characters, action and background.If you like a book written with intelligence this is for you.
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on 7 September 2017
Some of the authors research could be better. For example, he mentions Lancaster bombers in a 1940 setting, when the Avro Lancaster didn't come into service until 1942.
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