BLOOD OF VICTORY
I.A. Serebin, the fascinating if implausible hero of Furst’s latest WWII thriller, is a 42-year-old Russian emigre journalist, half Jewish, independently wealthy, and apparently irresistible to women. Imagine James Bond moonlighting in a Graham Greene book. While in Istanbul in 1940, he’s recruited by the British to help sabotage the supply lines for Romanian oil headed to Hitler’s Germany. As in his previous works, Furst girds his story with well-researched and telling details, and the prose is leavened with genuine wit, as when he sketches a Turkish secret agent ”with hair and patience thinning.” Ultimately, though, Blood is a novel of modest ambition and modest achievement.