Movel of the Month
Frederic Stahl, an American actor who is originally from Vienna, is called upon to shoot a new movie in Paris. When he arrives, there is a heavy presence of German influence and he finds himself having to appease the Führer’s request (which involves a visit to Berlin) in supporting the German filmmaking industry. While Stahl struggles to remain neutral in terms of the political upheaval surrounding him in Paris, spies and those who work for the Nazis seem to be tracking his every move. To make sure the Hollywood star shows his preference for Germany’s success, he is invited to many social events and is eventually threatened when he tries to resist or avoid patriotic ideals forced upon him. During the filming of his war movie, Stahl must try to remain calm and be on guard for any suspicious strangers who may mean him harm. As he is popular and posesses dashing good looks, there are a lot of steamy scenes with women (after the cameras stop rolling). He also becomes an intelligencer against Germany, without warning—much to his surprise. It is 1938 and tensions are rising between the European countries, where Stahl knows it is only a matter of time before war will be declared and a small window in which he has an opportunity to escape from danger. A spy novel with a Noir Style setting, Mission to Paris will keep you on your toes, as you try to figure out how Stahl will manage to solve his predicament.
HisLit title read-alikes:
If you liked this particular book, here are some suggestions to read which have similar themes.
Istanbul Passage by Joseph Kanon
The Double Agents by W.E.B. Griffin
Cold Harbour by Jack Higgins
HisLit author read-alikes:
If you like Furst’s style but you have read all his books, the following names are authors who write in a similar vein:
-Sebastian Faulks (Readers who enjoy the bleak lyricism, fateful love affairs, and somber atmosphere of Furst’s novels may want to try Sebastian Faulks’ historical novels. Start with Birdsong.)
-David Downing (Both Downing and Furst write intelligent mystery/thrillers set in Pre-World War II Europe. The books have strong period ambience and tension-filled plots that build quietly. The storylines reveal the troubled politics before the War through fully developed characters who live in an ambiguous world and must make difficult choices. Start with Zoo Station.)
-Eric Ambler (No word better conveys Alan Furst’s swift plotting and spare, realistic style than Ambleresque: Eric Ambler’s vintage pre-war thrillers are terse, fast-paced stories that feature pragmatic everymen struggling to survive in a world gone suddenly, desperately wrong, and Furst features similarly reluctant heroes in similarly historic settings and tense, dangerous situations. Start with A Coffin for Dimitrios.)
I think spy novels are really adventurous and they have lots of conspiracies. No matter what time period they take place in, they are always filled with intrigue. Spy stories that are set during war, however, are even more thrilling because of all the extra conflicts and danger involved.