4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Ok but he's not a Faulks or a Kerr,
This review is from: Mission to Paris (Paperback)
Having had the works of Furst bigged up to me by various friends who thought that because I have enjoyed the works of Phillip Kerr and David Downing I would enjoy this I settled down to this novel with some anticipation. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed "Spies of the Balkans" and thought it engaging, well plotted and well written. Imagine my disappointment when completing this book, which, in the edition I read it in (TV Book Club) read as though it were written as a primer for people who don't really like reading and need encouraging. Either that or it was written to be read on public transport by the part time engaged either on their phones, kindle or igadget.
Mission to Paris is competently written, in a workman like way and it is similarly plotted (but reads as though it were designed for film or TV) and consequently it has little depth, little engagement. As a reader I did not sympathise with the characters who were presented in a sequence as a series of two dimensional character pastiches drawn from a welter of influences mostly from US cinema. The ambiance ois entirely derivative from other works which try to capture Paris in the summer of 1938 (JPS trilogy springs to mind)or at least some of it. The book is light on substance and history and plot events are not intricately woven and thus, in comparison to any of Kerr's books this book feels and is superficial. In essence a poor historical spy novel for thicko's who know nothing of history, probably written by someone with a poor grasp of history who thought it wise to patronise his reading public by assuming they do not know who the British Prime minister at the time of Munich was and so must explain it in the text (rather than as an after note, or a note of the historical context at the beginning, which would have been better). The amount of time spent exposing the fact that National Socialist Govt of Germany was "bad" and why is incredible, and while quick to point the accusatory finger at those in France who thought Democracy had failed is very one sided in its portrayal of the US and its relations with Nazi Germany (US companies did very well from Nazi Germany and anti-sematism was alive and healthy in America prior to WW2). Comparison with John Le Carre are wasted, Furst and Le Carre don't compare. I veryt much enjoyed Spies of the Balkans, this book, just annoyed me it was full of stereo types which I have seen in numerous 1940s and 1950s war films which were better plotted and scripted. Rather than buy this book rent "Pimpernell Smith" or Casablanca from Love Film and have a better time.