Awhile back a friend of mine who used to work in the publishing industry recommended that I check out books by Alan Furst. He said Alan Furst is who I should turn to for good historical fiction/spy novels/war novels/etc.
So I borrowed his copy of Dark Star. It's a good spy novel but a bit overwhelming because it's so heavy on the history...and I was a history major in college!
The story takes place pre-World War II, in 1937. Andre Szara is a Polish-born journalist working for the Russian newspaper Pravda. While just doing his job, he gets coerced into working with the NKVD (Soviet secret intelligence). Setting up base in Paris, Szara becomes pretty much a spy for Russia. He travels across Europe as a spy and a journalist, enlisting the help of an agent in Berlin with whom he develops romantic connections.
Ok. So a spy novel. But Furst knows his history...sometimes a little too much. But I loved the cloak and dagger feel of the book and the time period was just crazy. I can't imagine traipsing around Europe right before WWII.
I'm going to definitely check out his other books. I recently won another one of Furst's books, The Spies of Warsaw, over at Medieval Bookworm so I'll let you know how that one goes.
You can preview Dark Star over at Google Books to see if it's something you might want to check out.
Have you read any Alan Furst novels or other good spy novels?