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Mission to Paris (Night Soldiers #12)

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  4,668 ratings  ·  931 reviews
It is the late summer of 1938, Europe is about to explode, the Hollywood film star Fredric Stahl is on his way to Paris to make a movie for Paramount France. The Nazis know he’s coming—a secret bureau within the Reich Foreign Ministry has for years been waging political warfare against France, using bribery, intimidation, and corrupt newspapers to weaken French morale and ...more
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Random House
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
2.5 stars
This is a bland treatment of an intriguing plot idea. Fredric Stahl is an American movie star with Austrian roots. In the fall of 1938, he goes to Paris for a film shoot. The Nazis railroad him into serving as propaganda to boost their image.

Furst spends the first 200 pages or so introducing an endless array of new characters, treating us to boring descriptions of various films, and taking us through tedious days on the movie set with Stahl and the film crew. The last 50 pages are more
Will Byrnes
One of the things we enjoy most about spy stories is when a non-pro gets caught up in international intrigue. Richard Hannay in The Thirty Nine Steps (The film, of course. Yes, I know he was an intel-guy in the book) and Roger Thornhill

Robert Donat as Hannay in Hitchcock’s classic

in North by Northwest pop immediately to mind. While our everyman in Mission to Paris may not exactly be just anyone, Frederic Stahl, a B-list movie star in Paris for a shoot, is, by virtue of his profession, a person
Furst again mines well that sweet spot for personal moral drama: in the face of the impending Nazi domination of Europe in the late 30’s, what would you, an ordinary person, do to contribute to countering the threat?

In this case, the “ordinary” person takes the form of Fredric Stahl, a Hollywood movie star on location in Paris in 1938 to make a film, ironically about Foreign Legionnaires making their way home after World War 1. He soon becomes a target to become a player in the Nazi propaganda
I’ve been spying on (pun intended) Alan Furst’s delicious looking WW2 noir fiction for quite some time now. The front covers with the old black and white photographs of dark alleys and stairwells of old Europe look irresistible to me. It instantly reminds me of the classic black & white Noir film, the Third Man, which is one of my favorite films.

This new book, Mission to Paris, is the twelfth in Furst’s Night Soldiers series which all follow separate plots concerning different characters an
Jeepers, what a tough review to write. It's that 3-star curse: "I liked it just fine, thank you, Ma'am." My literary passions were neither inflamed nor offended, but I was happily entertained. And sometimes that's all I need from a read: an escape.

And if it comes in a package of sublimely crafted settings that conjure from history's clouds the darkening heart of 1938-39 Europe, with characters rendered as precisely as wood-block prints ("He was about fifty, Stahl guessed, with the thickening bo
Read Mission to Paris and it was vintage Furst with a return to the non-pro agent (an Austrian-American actor) like in Blood of Victory or Dark Voyage. Of the two more recent ones, I loved the Warsaw novel but the Balkans one was less interesting for some reason; this one was excellent and while Dark Star is still Furst supreme and one of the best ever pre-WW2 novels I've read, this is top tier; a lot of predictability true but still very enjoyable as character and atmosphere rather than action ...more
Lance Charnes
Jun 18, 2013 Lance Charnes rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of unfiltered cigarettes, Paris Match and Claude Rains
Mission to Paris is an Alan Furst production, which should, by now, tell you everything you need to know about it: interwar European intrigue, a morally compromised milieu, atmospheric settings sketched with the lightest touch, buckets of research made to look effortless. His novels take place in a world in which cocktail parties and dinners happen every night, every man has at least one mistress, and the main characters smoke Gauloises and say smart things and have a je ne sais quoi you might e ...more
Hurray for Hollywood

In “Mission to Paris” Furst writes a story of an actor, Fredric Stahl, who goes to Paris in 1938 to star in a film and slowly gets lured into taking sides between Germany, his old homeland, and the rest of Europe. Even before he arrives both Germany and France are subtly vying for his loyalty. Though he left Germany for America many years ago he’d still been sucked into World War I working as a desk clerk. The more he explores the Paris of 1938 the more he begins to loathe th
Lewis Weinstein
Another excellent story, set mostly in 1938 Paris, with some scenes in Berlin and some in a Hungarian palace. Furst describes vicious and thorough Nazi political espionage efforts to demoralize France and convince them of the futility of fighting. Needless to say, it worked. When the Nazis invaded, France gave up after 5 weeks.

The story is told around the making of a movie, a plot device Furst has used before, and one which works well here. My only complaint is the wrap-up at the end, which I t
I am a huge Alan Furst fan. I look forward to all of his new books with great anticipation and am always rewarded with a great read. That is why this book is a big disappointment. It has many of the same elements of Furst's previous novels, including the Paris bistro with the bullet hole in the wall. However, it is painfully slow, almost plotless with terribly undeveloped characters who utter inane lines. Alan, did you really write this book? I don't believe it!
L Fleisig
"When Paris sneezes, Europe catches cold." Prince Metternich
It is autumn 1938 and the German government has decided to make Paris sneeze violently as it carries on its preparations for war. Determined to avenge the ignominy of Versailles, the German Foreign Ministry seeks to destabilize the already fragile French Third Republic by co-opting willing and unwilling fifth columnists to do their bidding. It was a cold war designed to soften the French before the onslaught of the real war that everyon
Alexander McNabb
I enjoy Alan Furst's books for their atmospherics and tremendous sense of time and place. They're great escapes, often set across stunning swathes of wartime Europe and when they hit the sweet spot, they can be spine-tinglingly realistic and gripping.

I'll not summarise the plot, there are plenty of plot summaries around. I'll just get straight onto the experience if you don't mind.

This was an easy enough read, generally delivered on the grimy sepia vignettes but seemed somewhat aimless. It meand
Read all of Alan Furst's earlier books. Liked the earlier novels a lot. Immensely, to be honest. Finally someone writing about the period with subtlety and insight. But the last couple--and especially this one--were disappointing. "Mission to Paris" often reads like Harlequin romance schtick aimed at male readers (no, and that ain't me, as you might guess). The protagonist, an Austrian-Slovenian-born actor who now takes the name "Stahl," is never in serious jeopardy, in fact, if it can be believ ...more
Tim Pendry

Another solid thriller from Alan Furst, a cut above the average. The characterisation is one stage improved on 'Spies of the Balkans' and the sexual relationships vastly so.

Furst is good at creating believable heroes - not so much likeable as manly and with existential integrity. His Austrian-turned-Hollywood star Frederic Stahl is in that mould. His woman are also well drawn.

The book is not subtle politically. Furst's history is accurately researched even if the Nazis are all straight out of Ne
I think if you’re going to start reading Alan Furst novels (and if you haven’t, why not?), you could do no better than start here. Though, as this is so good, maybe it would be better to start elsewhere and save this pleasure? Hard to decide how to recommend it best. It really is a summation of all his strengths, all his subtitles. The perfect place to start, the perfect place to carry on from.

A deceptively simple story - all the best are - and American movie star, Frederic Stahl agrees, at his
Jim Leffert
Cue the deep fog enveloping the dreary docks in a Balkan or Turkish port, listen for the clinking of wine glasses in Paris, and take note of the menacing shadows of Nazi ambitions reaching over Europe—Alan Furst is back with a new World War II era novel! In each of these books, a "regular"person, who is neither a professional spy nor a soldier, responds to the Nazi menace by risking his life in a clandestine operation.

There is a formulaic quality to these books—the hero will undergo danger, hav
Craig Pittman
To say that Alan Furst writes spy novels is misleading. What he writes are novels about how ordinary men and women responded to the greatest crisis to confront Western civilization in the 20th century, namely the rise of fascism in Europe. His heroes are ship's captains, mapmakers, writers, soldiers, who are pressed into service as spies and saboteurs. This book features his most unlikely hero to date, a Hollywood movie star named Fredric Stahl. Stahl, born in Austria, is now being sent to Paris ...more
I've now read three of Alan Furst's novels and conclude that he's a good writer. He tells some pretty good stories set in Europe during the '20s or '30s with the same general themes: Nazis and Fascists are bad, so are Communists except when they're fighting the Nazis, and we must have faith because the good guys will prevail.

Furst does a great job with atmosphere, especially in Paris, where I kept expecting to bump into Bogey and Bergman on their way to Casablanca. He describes the weather, the
Alan Furst is back and in fine form. Long time readers will recognize characters and places from previous novels and welcome new ones. Furst's pre-war Paris would not be complete without a visit to Papa Henninger's for some choucroute. And yes, the Bulgarian bullet hole is still there.

But there is a new thread as well. And that is that the evil of totalitarianism isn't just in wars and concentration camps -- the big things -- but in small things too. The way these regimes must attack human dign
Alan Furst's novels have everything I'm looking for in a spy novel. He writes exclusively about what was going on in Europe in the 30s and 40s. His characters tend to have complicated motivations and it's often hard to tell who's the good guy and who's the bad guy. Turns out we're all a little of both.

Actually, in this, there is a clear hero. Fredric Stahl is a famous movie star living in Hollywood; he's originally from Vienna. In the fall of 1938, Warner Bros sends him to Paris to film a movie
Mission to Paris, is the twelfth installment of Alan Furst's Night Soldiers series. A series that began 24 years ago and continues with the same vigor and intelligence. I have read them all and still continue to marvel at how each one, generally with a completely new cast of characters, although some appear multiple times, generates the same level of intense interest for me. Furst's books are, as I said in my review of Spies of the Balkans, "variations on a theme, Hitler's War looms and in vario ...more
Jun 13, 2013 Ed rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Spy story and Alan Furst Fans
Alan Furst is one of my favorite authors. He is head and shoulders above anyone writing spy novels today possibly excepting John Le Carre'. As I've said in previous reviews, he has taken the spy novel to the level of contemporary literature. This effort is no exception.

The protagonist, Hollywood film star Fredric Stahl, born in Vienna but now a permanent resident of the U.S. is sent to Paris in late 1938 to make a movie for Paramount Studios on loan from Warner Bros. Upon arriving in Paris he is
Marc  A.
If 1/2 stars were available I would have awarded 4.5. The less than top rating only to distinguish this most recent effort from some of the other books in Furst's spy novels that I think are better.
Otherwise, "Mission To Paris" delivers all the well crafted historical background and suspense that I have enjoyed from Alan Furst's earlier works. Set again mostly in pre-WWII Paris (a city with which Furst is intimately familiar, the reader is treated to another "you are there" story of the lives of
Byron Lord
I received this book from Good reads and this is my honest review.
A spy tale of the first order and an insight into the political espionage of the Third Rich, as World War II in Europe reaches climax. Set in Paris in 1939, this story brings out the brilliant under workings of Von Ribbentrop’s political drama and dirty tricks to thwart French buildup for the upcoming invasion. We are treated to a view into the early efforts of the US which ultimately became the Office of Strategic Service, OSS. W
Harold Kasselman
I enjoyed the historical setting in pre-World War 2 France with the impending invasion of Germany. The author provides a spot on glimpse of the ambivalence of the people of France.; the anxiety and belief that the Nazis regime could not be prevented and the hope that concessions could lead to conciliation. That duality helped the Nazis propaganda machine foster and shape the minds of the French to opt for hope that conciliation could save them from disaster.
Set in this background is the story o
normally i really like furst's spy novels, but this one took way too long to get going, and was basically pretty boring. it took until page 200 of a 255 page book, before any real espionage went on. prior to that, there was way too much time spent in building up the character of the main protagonist, a famous american actor, in france to film a movie, who eventually ( and i do mean eventually, gets dragged into the spying game. a very disappointing book.
Set in 1938, Hitler has just invaded Czechoslovakia, is on the verge of doing the same to Poland, and has his eye on France. Into this cauldron comes Fredrich Stahl, a Hollywood actor of Austrian origins, who arrives in Paris on an invitation to make a movie ironically titled 'Apres La Guerre', which, in his opinion, highlights the futility of war.

The German secret service are aware of his arrival and seek to make use of his fame for their own cause, first attempting to woo and trick him into m
I won this book free in a Gooreads First Reads give away. What a great book. Hooks you from the very first page. You will lose much needed sleep from reading this one but you will not care one bit at all. I love the story the author told through this book. A great thrilling read. A book for any adult. One not to be missed.
David Lowther
As Furst grows older, his novels get better although Mission to Paris is only the equal to his previous masterpiece Spies of the Balkans.

Here we're introduced to another reluctant hero Frederic Stahl, a former Austrian film star now working for Warner Bros in 1938 Paris. He's courted by the Germans who feel as an ex-Austrian (Austria by now is part of the Third Reich) he should be doing them some favours and the émigré anti-fascists. Naturally, being a Furst hero, he ends up working on the side
Thanks to winning a goodreads giveaway, I enjoyed the book, Mission to Paris. It is a thriller without a huge body count and with a happy ending for the protagonist. Do you know how rare that is? Most thrillers have 200 dead bodies and an unhappy alcoholic and/or drug addicted protagonist. Even though our hero is a Hollywood actor, he's such a normal nice guy that it is easy to root for him. Caught up in circumstances that are leading to World War II in Paris, he finds himself working as a spy f ...more
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Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Pick - Mission to Paris by Alan Furst 1 6 Mar 05, 2015 11:20AM  
Historical Myster...: Night Soldiers by Alan Furst 1 19 Apr 03, 2013 01:28PM  
  • Lehrter Station (John Russell, #5)
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  • The Arms Maker of Berlin
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  • A Foreign Country
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  • Flight From Berlin
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  • Murder at the Lanterne Rouge (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #12)
  • Epitaph for a Spy
Alan Furst is widely recognized as the current master of the historical spy novel. Born in New York, he has lived for long periods in France, especially Paris. He now lives on Long Island.

Night Soldiers novels
* Night Soldiers (1988)
* Dark Star (1991)
* The Polish Officer (1995)
* The World at Night (1996)
* Red Gold (1999)
* Kingdom of Shadows (2000)
* Blood of Victory (2003)
* Dark Voyage (2004)
* The F
More about Alan Furst...

Other Books in the Series

Night Soldiers (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Night Soldiers (Night Soldiers, #1)
  • Dark Star (Night Soldiers, #2)
  • The Polish Officer (Night Soldiers, #3)
  • The World at Night (Night Soldiers, #4)
  • Red Gold (Night Soldiers, #5)
  • Kingdom of Shadows (Night Soldiers, #6)
  • Blood of Victory (Night Soldiers, #7)
  • Dark Voyage (Night Soldiers, #8)
  • The Foreign Correspondent (Night Soldiers, #9)
  • The Spies of Warsaw (Night Soldiers, #10)
Night Soldiers (Night Soldiers, #1) The Spies of Warsaw (Night Soldiers, #10) The World at Night (Night Soldiers, #4) Spies of the Balkans (Night Soldiers, #11) The Polish Officer (Night Soldiers, #3)

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“Home at that moment was a starless night, a steady wind, not a human to be seen.” 3 likes
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