Spies of the Balkans
Greece, 1940. Not sunny vacation Greece: northern Greece, Macedonian Greece, Balkan Greece -- the city of Salonika. In that ancient port, with its wharves and warehouses, dark lanes and Turkish mansions, brothels and tavernas, a tense political drama is being played out. On the northern border, the Greek army has blocked Mussolini 's invasion, pushing his divisions back to Albania -- the first defeat suffered by the Nazis, who have conquered most of Europe. But Adolf Hitler can not tolerate such freedom; the invasion is coming, it 's nly a matter of time, and the resident of Salonika can only watch and wait.
At the enter of th drama is Costa Zannis, a senior police official, head of an office that handles special " political " cases. As war approaches, the spies begin to circle, from the Turkish legation to the German secret service. There 's a British travel writer, a Bulgarian undertaker, and more. Costa Zannis must deal with them bot. And he is later in the game, securing an escape route -- from Berlin to Salonika, and instead to a tenuous safety in Turkey, a route protected by German lawyers, Balkan detectives, and Hungarian gangsters. And hunted by the Gestapo.
Finally, as war threatens, the erotic life of the city grows passionate. For Zannis, that eans a British expatriate who owns the local ballet academy, a ma from the dark side of Salonika society, and he mother of local shipping magnate.
Declared " an incomparable expert at his game " by This New York Times, Alan Furst outdoes even his own finest novels in this thrilling new book. With extraordinary authenticity, a superb cast of characters, and heart-stopping tension as it moves from Salonika to Paris to Berlin and back, Spies of the Balkans is a tunning novel about a woma who risks everything to right -- in many small ways -- the world 's evil.
Published June 15th 2010 by Random House