By Alan Furst
Mission To Paris: A Novel. This new 272 page novel is the latest in the series by author Alan Furst. The first one was released in the 90’s and since then over 12 other books have followed. It is no doubt that when it comes to the historical spy novel, Alan is the master. he is often often hailed as the best spy novelist the world has ever seen.
This book is set in the later part of the 1938 summer in Europe. The main character is actually a Hollywood film star named Fredric Stahl who we first meet while he is setting out to film a movie for Paramount France in the capital of Paris. The Nazis are aware of his arrival and they attack him. Unknown to them Fredric has agreed to spy for the Americans via their embassy in Paris.
Although there are many other characters, we always find Paris in the center of this story. Emphasis being made on the atmosphere and the lifestyle of the people who live in this bustling city in the years before the Nazi invasion. Unlike the previous heroes Fredric is not a member of the military or police he is a movie star. He is a decent guy, who is interesting to read about but often comes across as not being too intelligent.
As always, WWII era espionage novels written by Allan Furst are very entertaining. I was so fascinated by this novel that I found it hard to put down, so read it in one afternoon. As I read the book I did notice that Furst tends to caricature most of the German characters. Nevertheless, Mission to Paris is still a well written thriller. The way the book is written you feel like you are in that era observing as the characters try to understand their new world. The atmosphere certainly mimics that of that time period.