The Spies of Warsaw by Alan Furst
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 17 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

NOW A MINISERIES ON BBC AMERICA STARRING DAVID TENNANT

An autumn evening in 1937. A German engineer arrives at the Warsaw railway station. Tonight, he will be with his Polish mistress; tomorrow, at a workers’ bar in the city’s factory district, he will meet with the military attaché from the French embassy. Information will be exchanged for money. So begins The Spies of Warsaw, the brilliant new novel by Alan Furst, lauded by The New York Times as “America’s preeminent spy novelist.”

War is coming to Europe. French and German intelligence operatives are locked in a life-and-death struggle on the espionage battlefield. At the French embassy, the new military attaché, Colonel Jean-Francois Mercier, a decorated hero of the 1914 war, is drawn into a world of abduction, betrayal, and intrigue in the diplomatic salons and back alleys of Warsaw. At the same time, the handsome aristocrat finds himself in a passionate love affair with a Parisian woman of Polish heritage, a lawyer for the League of Nations.

Colonel Mercier must work in the shadows, amid an extraordinary cast of venal and dangerous characters–Colonel Anton Vyborg of Polish military intelligence; the mysterious and sophisticated Dr. Lapp, senior German Abwehr officer in Warsaw; Malka and Viktor Rozen, at work for the Russian secret service; and Mercier’s brutal and vindictive opponent, Major August Voss of SS counterintelligence. And there are many more, some known to Mercier as spies, some never to be revealed.

The Houston Chronicle has described Furst as “the greatest living writer of espionage fiction.” The Spies of Warsaw is his finest novel to date–the history precise, the writing evocative and powerful, more a novel about spies than a spy novel, exciting, atmospheric, erotic, and impossible to put down.

“As close to heaven as popular fiction can get.”
Los Angeles Times, about The Foreign Correspondent

“What gleams on the surface in Furst’s books is his vivid, precise evocation of mood, time, place, a letter-perfect re-creation of the quotidian details of World War II Europe that wraps around us like the rich fug of a wartime railway station.”
–Time

“A rich, deeply moving novel of suspense that is equal parts espionage thriller, European history and love story.”
–Herbert Mitgang, The New York Times, about Dark Star

“Some books you read. Others you live. They seep into your dreams and haunt your waking hours until eventually they seem the stuff of memory and experience. Such are the novels of Alan Furst, who uses the shadowy world of espionage to illuminate history and politics with immediacy.”
–Nancy Pate, Orlando Sentinel


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Alan Furst

See more books from this Author
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 June 3, 2008 by Random House. 290 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, War. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Spies of Warsaw

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

From the various little bits of information Mercier has gleaned, it becomes depressingly evident that the Nazis are beefing up their tank warfare capability with an eye on the Ardennes forest, the quickest way around the “impregnable” Maginot Line in which France’s thick-headed military leaders h...

| Read Full Review of The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

In Salonika, Zannis has a new love interest, exchanging Roxanne (a self-revealed British spy) for Demetria, gorgeous wife of a superrich banker.

| Read Full Review of The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

At the start of the book, she lives in Warsaw with a Russian émigré named Maxim who writes what another Russian man, this one a spy named Viktor, tells Mercier are “feuilletons” for local newspapers.

May 29 2008 | Read Full Review of The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

In Alan Furst’s latest spy thriller, a French diplomat keeps a nervous eye on Hitler’s troops.

Jun 29 2008 | Read Full Review of The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

The Spies of Warsaw by Alan Furst Find this on the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop Alan Furst's spy thriller is extraordinary for his mastery of peri...

May 31 2009 | Read Full Review of The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

The Spies of Warsaw Alan Furst Weidenfeld & Nicolson £16.99, pp276 Alan Furst's historical espionage novels, of which this is the 10th, share many characteristics.

Jul 13 2008 | Read Full Review of The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

AV Club

See more reviews from this publication

Mercier runs a sideline in obtaining information on German military equipment and strategy, and when one of his agents is nearly killed, Mercier becomes involved in determining the intentions of a series of tank maneuvers that may herald an attack.

Jul 23 2008 | Read Full Review of The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

A battle-scarred French military attaché oversees German secret agents — including a meek engineer who dishes on German tank designs to make extra money for his Polish mistress in Alan Furst's The Spies of Warsaw The Good German redux.

May 30 2008 | Read Full Review of The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

The Telegraph

I was glad to find that there was no need to hide behind a cushion at any point during Spies of Warsaw (BBC Four).

Jan 10 2013 | Read Full Review of The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

The Bookbag

Summary: A tense, exciting pre-war spy thriller that now boasts a TV series, bringing author Alan Furst an increased following, and deservedly so.

Jan 16 2013 | Read Full Review of The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

Reviewing the Evidence

In the days leading up to World War II, Warsaw has become a hotbed of spy activity.

| Read Full Review of The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

Oregon Live

Midway through Alan Furst's elegant new novel, "Spies of the Balkans," the hero, Greek police official Constantine Zannis, and one of his girlfriends go to a secret screening of Charlie Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" in Salonika (better known now as Thessaloniki).

Jun 19 2010 | Read Full Review of The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

Historical Novel Society

This is a difficult to follow but fascinating study of French intelligence-gathering in Central Europe, prior to World War II.

| Read Full Review of The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Janet Maslin Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 4 of 5 Stars "Alan Furst’s 10th espionage novel set on the eve of World War II is one of his best, offering a subtly drawn, engaging hero, a plot that turns on authentic details of the Nazi plan for blitzkrieg, and one of Furst’s most believable love affa...

May 18 2008 | Read Full Review of The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

Book Geeks

Alan Furst speacialises in taut espionage stories set in Europe during the run up to the Second World War.

Jun 18 2009 | Read Full Review of The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

Open Salon

“Thank you so much for sharing your story and congratulations on the well deserved…” August 23, 2012 10:33AM “Touching and well written story about your cats.” August 09, 2012 10:18AM “Thanks so much for this article, Rob!

Oct 04 2009 | Read Full Review of The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

Perennial best seller Furst writes some of the best historical fiction now being published, adding a touch

Oct 01 2015 | Read Full Review of The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

Reader Rating for The Spies of Warsaw
79%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 239 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×