Synopses & Reviews
From Alan Furst, whom the New York Times
calls "America's preeminent spy novelist," comes an epic story of romantic love, love of country, and love of freedom the story of a secret war fought in elegant hotel bars and first-class railway cars, in the mountains of Spain and the backstreets of Berlin. It is an inspiring, thrilling saga of everyday people forced by their hearts' passion to fight in the war against tyranny.
By 1938, hundreds of Italian intellectuals, lawyers and journalists, university professors and scientists had escaped Mussolini's fascist government and taken refuge in Paris. There, amid the struggles of émigré life, they founded an Italian resistance, with an underground press that smuggled news and encouragement back to Italy. Fighting fascism with typewriters, they produced 512 clandestine newspapers. The Foreign Correspondent is their story.
Paris, a winter night in 1938: a murder/suicide at a discreet lovers' hotel. But this is no romantic tragedy it is the work of the OVRA, Mussolini's fascist secret police, and is meant to eliminate the editor of Liberazione, a clandestine émigré newspaper. Carlo Weisz, who has fled from Trieste and secured a job as a foreign correspondent with the Reuters bureau, becomes the new editor.
Weisz is, at that moment, in Spain, reporting on the last campaign of the Spanish civil war. But as soon as he returns to Paris, he is pursued by the French Sûreté, by agents of the OVRA, and by officers of the British Secret Intelligence Service. In the desperate politics of Europe on the edge of war, a foreign correspondent is a pawn, worth surveillance, or blackmail, or murder.
The Foreign Correspondent is the story of Carlo Weisz and a handful of antifascists: the army officer known as "Colonel Ferrara," who fights for a lost cause in Spain; Arturo Salamone, the shrewd leader of a resistance group in Paris; and Christa von Schirren, the woman who becomes the love of Weisz's life, herself involved in a doomed resistance underground in Berlin.
The Foreign Correspondent is Alan Furst at his absolute best taut and powerful, enigmatic and romantic, with sharp, seductive writing that takes the reader through darkness and intrigue to a spectacular denouement.
"Furst serves another delicious helping of Paris suspended in a brief moment of time when everyone waited for something to happen, good or bad: 'Il faut en fenir' (There must be an end to this). Fortunately, for Furst readers, not quite yet." Booklist (Starred Review)
"At ease again in the time and territory he has carved out for himself in such fine fashion, Furst sets the stage here with a murder....Who knows why this stuff is so deeply satisfying? But it most surely is." Kirkus Reviews
"Furst is virtuosic at setting scenes....Furst's characters live in a gray world, confronted by monsters and these monsters are winning. Strongly recommended." Library Journal
"The same spare, jazz-like prose that sets the pace in Furst's most recent novels also drives The Foreign Correspondent. But Weisz and his story will feel a bit too familiar to those for whom Furst's best Night Soldiers, Kingdom of Shadows, The World at Night were genuine discoveries." USA Today
"Gone are the far-flung journeys to Ruthenia and Bessarabia; gone, too, are the intricate storylines with dozens of meandering threads, whose very unruliness traces the chaos of life in wartime. In their place comes a pleasing coherence of plot..." The Wall Street Journal
"The Foreign Correspondent by Alan Furst is all rainy Parisian streets and low-key espionage with nary a sense of real danger....Like a wire-service dispatch, it gets the job done and little more. (Grade: B)" Entertainment Weekly
"Part of what's captivating about this book is its apparent simplicity....So expertly tailored you can't see the stitching, The Foreign Correspondent lingers in the mind long after the last page is turned." Dallas-Ft. Worth Star Telegram
"The Foreign Correspondent...makes glancing contact with some of the most wonderfully devious such figures from his earlier novels." New York Times
"Furst's novels are uniformly of a high standard of writing, craftsmanship and painstaking research, but for some reason The Foreign Correspondent is not as gripping as most of the earlier entries." Denver Post
"Even fans may groan to see pre-war Paris again, where all of Furst's heroes seem to land at some point, but the struggle against Mussolini is a fresh and fascinating topic....The plotting is solid...and the sheer accumulation of incident ultimately engenders an affectionate familiarity with Carlo even if the pallid characterization does not." B. R. Meyers, The Atlantic Monthly
(read the entire Atlantic Monthly review
About the Author
Alan Furst is widely recognized as the master of the historical spy novel. He is the author of Night Soldiers, Dark Star, The Polish Officer, The World at Night, Red Gold, Kingdom of Shadows, Blood of Victory, and Dark Voyage. Born in New York, he has lived for long periods in France, especially Paris. He now lives on Long Island, New York. Visit the author's website at www.alanfurst.net.