Robin's Reviews > Spies of the Balkans

Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst
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's review
Dec 09, 2011

really liked it
Read in March, 2011

This was not the first Furst I read. Like so many authors I have come to know, I stumbled over his works when looking for something by someone with a name very close on the library shelves.

Furst is adept at drawing out characters who to most people, would not rate a second look. In this case a humble police lieutenant with a chaotic love life living in the back streets of Salonika.

It is true to life in that many 'spies' are very ordinary people often chosen because they are expendable or because no-one else would be so stupid as to take on the task. Furst is so versed in the real ways of the intelligence community that one cannot help but wonder is he writes from first-hand experience.

Furst is an artist in the sense he portrays characters, warts and all, while simultaneously giving a graphic background, usually grimy or seamy as a backdrop to a first class tale which often moves at break-neck speed.

I am sure you will enjoy this book if you enjoy back-street dramas and minor war stories.
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