March 09, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

Kingdom of Shadows

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Alan Furst
genre
Fiction
We gave it an A-

Furst’s novel of intrigue between the wars is full of smoke and mirrors, and immensely satisfying in the range of its trickery. In 1938 Europe (the milieu for almost all of the author’s well-regarded spy fiction), Nicholas Morath, a Hungarian living in Paris, engages in love affairs and espionage with the enthusiasm of a man for whom everything is both temporary and doomed. All of the ingredients of a solid spy yarn are here: Nazis on night trains, microfilm in hollowed-out shoe heels, shady secret police, and emigres with passports for sale. But genre fans who don’t know Furst should be thrilled by the sophistication of his storytelling, and by Morath, that rare creature: a spy with a soul. A-

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