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.
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Published June 15th 2010 by Random House

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In the strategic Greek port city of Salonika, rumblings of war can be heard as Nazi Germany gains allies by threat and force.

Costa Zinnis is the head of a special political branch of the police, charged with discretely managing the problems of the connected and keeping his finger on the pulse of the city.

Of course no spy story would be omplete without a femme fatale, and Spies of the Balkans does not disappoint, although I found that element one of the weaker ones.

war years are like the Bible in that the ales are eternal.

While reading Spies of the Balkans one can not help but visualize the events in glorious black and white, so well does Furst capture the right eel for the genre.

In he same way one wonders what Rick and Louis might get up to after Lazlo and Ilsa take flight, Spies of the Balkans leaves one wanting more.

rated it

It is a book that drips with the hidden goodness of those amazing men and women who efused to let dark circumstances dictate their character.For reference, I 've included below the 14 books of the Night Soldiers series along with my star rating: 1.

Night Soldiers ( 1988)- 4 stars 2.

This World at Night ( 1996)- 3 stars 5.

Dark Voyage ( 2004)- 4 stars 9.

Spies of the Balkans ( 2010)- 3 stars12.

rated it

Or tomorrow. ” ― Alan Furst, Spies of the Balkans The opening scenes are straight out of film noir: dark and rainy night, mysterious stranger, rendezvous in a lonely alley.Costa Zannis is a beleaguered police officer who keeps noticing strangers ending up in Salonika as the war ramps up in Eastern Europe and threatening the Balkans and Greece.

rated it

Spies of the Balkans is another of Alan Furst 's looks at the inevitable start of World War Two.In this book, the hero is Constantine Zannis, a highly placed police officer in the Greek city of Salonika.

rated it

It 's more of an impression that he 's started writing by the numbers -- filling in the blanks on a template because it works ( at least in that it sells books).

I eve read everything he say, because a mediocre Furst novel is better than the best efforts of 90% of best-selling novelists.

I submit that anyone who needs the following explanation in the text should n't be reading novel set in World War II: "'.

His account of that experience could give Furst a few pointers about how to rite a nail-biting, palm-sweating story about Greece as the Nazi night descended.

rated it

Reading Alan Furst 's Night Soldiers series is a bit like reading Patrick O'Brian.

Furst 's first ( heh) was Night Soldiers, a massive epic of war and espionage, probably the best boo about spies in the econd World War you 're likely to read.

Within those strokes wind the lives of the en and women in the secret, murky world of espionage.

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