This tale by Alan Furst, Dark Star, follows a high-profile Russian reporter. He is a foreign correspondent who enjoys a degree of luxury and privilege in the dark days of Stalin’s purges. He becomes drawn into the world of espionage by his masters, a matter of survival as anything else. The is a real sense that he does not have any way out, whatever he does “they” know and will find him. The story is set to the backdrop of moving through occupied countries and into Germany. There are lots of historical references and the Russo-German non-aggression pact is central to the story.
As is custom with these novels there is the obligatory visit to the famous brassiere in Paris and that bullet hole in the wall. The main character in these books is Europe and the turmoil of the nineteen thirties and the inevitable march towards war.
The book is a satisfying read with great characters and particularly enjoyable for those who revel in this period of history. Dark Star does evoke a sense of being there.