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Spies of the Balkans

A Novel
Furst, Alan (Book - 2010)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Spies of the Balkans
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As war approaches northern Greece, the spies begin to circle--from the Turkish legation to the German secret service. In the ancient port of Salonika, Costa Zannis, a senior police official, head of an office that handles special "political" cases, risks everything to secure an escape route for those hunted by the Gestapo.
Authors: Furst, Alan
Title: Spies of the Balkans
a novel
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2010
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 268 p. :,map ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Alan Furst
Summary: As war approaches northern Greece, the spies begin to circle--from the Turkish legation to the German secret service. In the ancient port of Salonika, Costa Zannis, a senior police official, head of an office that handles special "political" cases, risks everything to secure an escape route for those hunted by the Gestapo.
ISBN: 9781400066032
1400066034
Branch Call Number: FICTION FURST 2010
Subject Headings: World War, 1939-1945 Underground movements Greece Fiction Greece History 1917-1944 Fiction Thessalonikē (Greece) Fiction
Genre/Form: Historical fiction
Spy stories
Topical Term: World War, 1939-1945
LCCN: 2010007755
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Apr 22, 2012
  • dbed rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Probably one of Alan Furst's best books.

Apr 03, 2012
  • AnneDromeda rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Costa Zannis is a man who loves his job and his country. A detective on the police force in Salonika, Greece in 1940, he has access to major society players from the lowest of the low to the most powerful public figures. Thus, as WWII threatens to sweep down through the Balkans, he's privy to much disturbing information on the Nazi movement south and east, as well as the machinations of Mussolini in Italy.<br />

As the Nazi machine grinds south, his connections help him operate a rescue ring for Jews fleeing occupied nations. This is where the intrigue in *Spies of the Balkans* really takes flight – author Alan Furst exhaustively researched the diplomatic and physical battles that drove the Nazi occupation into the Balkans. His research feeds a furiously paced romp through Europe as Zannis fights to save the lives of his family, friends, and fleeing Jews, ultimately growing entangled in plots to rescue entire nations. Meanwhile, Zannis is captivated by a glacially beautiful woman trapped in a loveless marriage to a tyrannical senior Greek bureaucrat. Will his strict moral code allow him to do what he needs to save as many as he can? With the Gestapo on his tail for murder, will his transgressions so far cost him his life?<br />

Loaded with plot and politics, it could be argued that the character development is a little light in *Spies of the Balkans*. That, however, would be missing the point of the novel. Zannis is a gloriously gritty pulp fiction detective in the tradition of Sam Spade, surrounded by the same femmes fatale characters. No one is supposed to learn and grow, there's no time for that – *Spies of the Balkans* is a relentless romp, a wild ride through the race to evade the Nazis. Pour yourself a highball, put up your feet and turn the blinds – Furst's *Spies of the Balkans* won't let you go until it's all over.

Jun 26, 2011
  • peageeuu rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Alan Furst does a wonderful job of creating the mood and atmosphere of fear and apprehension that must have engulfed pre- war and world war II Europe.

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Apr 03, 2012
  • AnneDromeda rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Costa Zannis is a man who loves his job and his country. A detective on the police force in Salonika, Greece in 1940, he has access to major society players from the lowest of the low to the most powerful public figures. Thus, as WWII threatens to sweep down through the Balkans, he's privy to much disturbing information on the Nazi movement south and east, as well as the machinations of Mussolini in Italy.<br />

As the Nazi machine grinds south, his connections help him operate a rescue ring for Jews fleeing occupied nations. This is where the intrigue in *Spies of the Balkans* really takes flight – author Alan Furst exhaustively researched the diplomatic and physical battles that drove the Nazi occupation into the Balkans. His research feeds a furiously paced romp through Europe as Zannis fights to save the lives of his family, friends, and fleeing Jews, ultimately growing entangled in plots to rescue entire nations. Meanwhile, Zannis is captivated by a glacially beautiful woman trapped in a loveless marriage to a tyrannical senior Greek bureaucrat. Will his strict moral code allow him to do what he needs to save as many as he can? With the Gestapo on his tail for murder, will his transgressions so far cost him his life?<br />

Loaded with plot and politics, it could be argued that the character development is a little light in *Spies of the Balkans*. That, however, would be missing the point of the novel. Zannis is a gloriously gritty pulp fiction detective in the tradition of Sam Spade, surrounded by the same femmes fatale characters. No one is supposed to learn and grow, there's no time for that – *Spies of the Balkans* is a relentless romp, a wild ride through the race to evade the Nazis. Pour yourself a highball, put up your feet and turn the blinds – Furst's *Spies of the Balkans* won't let you go until it's all over.

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app05 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/23 09:41