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Night Soldiers by Alan Furst
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Sep 03, 12

bookshelves: espionage
Read in January, 2002

Alan Furst explores pre and war time Europe though the eyes of Khristo Stoianev in his book Night Soldier. Khristo is a Bulgarian youth who watches helplessly as his younger brother is kicked to death by Nazis. Feeling powerless he hooks up with revolutionaries. Soon he must flee from Bulgaria and journeys to the Soviet Union to train as a spy. Night Soldier's is a chronicle of his life through a turbulent time as Khristo journeys through Europe.
Furst tells this story of intrigue and war with great skill. The story begins with the brutal death of Khristo�s brother and continues from one war torn setting to another. It appears that there was no place of peace and hope for the people of this time and place. Furst clearly defines the brutality of the period and the difficult moral choices which the people of Europe were faced with. He has peopled the story with intriguing characters who react with courage, strength, cunning, avarice and fear. Many like Khristo are trying their best to see their way through these years to survive.

Khristo is an ever interesting character. First driven to do what is right he is given a taste of the difficult choices in the life of a spy, when a lover betrays him and his superiors request that he take care of her. He soon finds the Russian tentacles under Stalin to be as evil as the Nazi's who he is fighting. He would like to elude them both and tries to, but in a warring Europe it is no easy task.

For those interested in stories set in WWII or tales of intrigue this book is recommended.
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