Blood of Victory by Alan Furst
A Novel

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Synopsis

“In 1939, as the armies of Europe mobilized for war, the British secret services undertook operations to impede the exportation of Roumanian oil to Germany. They failed.

“Then, in the autumn of 1940, they tried again.”


So begins Blood of Victory, a novel rich with suspense, historical insight, and the powerful narrative immediacy we have come to expect from bestselling author Alan Furst. The book takes its title from a speech given by a French senator at a conference on petroleum in 1918: “Oil,” he said, “the blood of the earth, has become, in time of war, the blood of victory.”

November 1940. The Russian writer I. A. Serebin arrives in Istanbul by Black Sea freighter. Although he travels on behalf of an émigré organization based in Paris, he is in flight from a dying and corrupt Europe—specifically, from Nazi-occupied France. Serebin finds himself facing his fifth war, but this time he is an exile, a man without a country, and there is no army to join. Still, in the words of Leon Trotsky, “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.” Serebin is recruited for an operation run by Count Janos Polanyi, a Hungarian master spy now working for the British secret services.

The battle to cut Germany’s oil supply rages through the spy haunts of the Balkans; from the Athenée Palace in Bucharest to a whorehouse in Izmir; from an elegant yacht club in Istanbul to the river docks of Belgrade; from a skating pond in St. Moritz to the fogbound banks of the Danube; in sleazy nightclubs and safe houses and nameless hotels; amid the street fighting of a fascist civil war.

Blood of Victory is classic Alan Furst, combining remarkable authenticity and atmosphere with the complexity and excitement of an outstanding spy thriller. As Walter Shapiro of Time magazine wrote, “Nothing can be like watching Casablanca for the first time, but Furst comes closer than anyone has in years.”


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Alan Furst

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Alan Furst is widely recognized as the master of the historical spy novel. Now translated into eighteen languages, he is the author of Night Soldiers, Dark Star, The Polish Officer, The World at Night, Red Gold, Kingdom of Shadows, Blood of Victory, Dark Voyage, The Foreign Correspondent, The Spies of Warsaw, Spies of the Balkans, and Mission to Paris. Born in New York, he lived for many years in Paris, and now lives on Long Island.
 
Published August 27, 2002 by Random House. 272 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Horror. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Blood of Victory

Kirkus Reviews

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To the intense pleasure of his rabid admirers, the master of the dark-little-between-the-wars thriller returns with another very, very good one.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Blood of Victory: A Novel

The Guardian

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Blood of Victory by Alan Furst 237pp, Weidenfeld, £12.99.

Nov 29 2002 | Read Full Review of Blood of Victory: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Critics who thought Furst's previous novel Kingdom of Shadows lacked a clearly linear plot will find much to praise him for in his toothsome new historical e

Jul 01 2002 | Read Full Review of Blood of Victory: A Novel

Deseret News

The dialogue is punchy and believable — the way real people in those days must have talked — reflecting impatience and fear, laughter and release, sophistication and misery, ambition and disappointment.

Sep 01 2002 | Read Full Review of Blood of Victory: A Novel

CNN.com

"Blood of Victory" .

Aug 27 2002 | Read Full Review of Blood of Victory: A Novel

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