Doug Baird's Reviews > Mission to Paris

Mission to Paris by Alan Furst
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's review
Oct 02, 2012

really liked it
Read from October 02 to 08, 2012

Alan Furst is an author who consistently meets or exceeds expectations. He essentially limits his focus to the late 1930's and early 1940's in Europe. His characters are seldom Americans, but their motivation and outlook compare favorably with the post-modern heroes of U.S. fiction. "Mission to Paris" is one of Furst's best. The characters are very believable and the circumstances are not hard to imagine - especially if you've read "In The Garden of Beasts" or are otherwise aware of the fear that gripped Europe as Hitler and Germany grew increasingly aggressive.
The story concerns an Austrian actor working in Hollywood who is sent to Paris to film a movie for French cinema on loan from Warner Brothers. He is eventually targeted by the Nazi foreign office as a potential propaganda tool. He soon discovers their interest and, with the help of the American embassy, allows himself to be used for some minor espionage during a cultural public relations trip to Berlin arranged by the Germans. As you might expect, things get complicated - and deadly. It's a good story with a bit more of a love angle than Furst is normally known for. He brings the whole thing off very nicely. A great read by a terrific writer.

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