Alan Furst Double “The World at Night” & “Red Gold”

This turned out much to my surprise a two part story. I read the first book The World at Night and when I started the next novel Red Gold I was confused. I know that there is very little cross over in characters in the Furst novels. It took a few pages to realise that Red Gold is a continuation of The World at Night.

The World at Night follows a reasonably well to do movie producer and his comfortable life as the Germans are rolling across Europe. The central character Jean Casson fortunes slowly slide downwards as he becomes drawn into the conflict. Almost inevitably he falls foul of the new authorities as they assert their control over his beloved Paris.

As with all the novels the Brassiere Heininger with its infamous table with a bullet hole in the wall. This is the connector in all the novels. Makes you wonder if they all see each other. The hero of the piece is put in a position where he is played off between the various secret service and resistance groups.

The story ends quite soddenly.

Luckily Red Gold comes along and as the name suggests this has a Russian flavour as Jean becomes more entangled with communists.

On the run and down on his luck he can only watch his old life from a distance. He lives in the shadows of his own city.  Always looking for his past. These stories evoke a sense of being there. There is much made of the deprivation suffered by the occupied people.


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