I love a good spy thriller, and I love some good British acting on spy thrillers. So when I saw the advertisement for David Tennant in the two-part series of Spies of Warsaw, I got excited and asked my husband to record the series.
Sadly, we missed it. So I put in a library request and saw that, hey, it was based on a book! While I was waiting for the library to get me the DVD, I decided to check out the book first. I’ve finished the book now…and I’m still waiting on the series. Alas.
Colonel Jean-François Mercier has been sent on several missions to Warsaw in 1937. He is a widower with two adult daughters, and is trying to fulfill his duties in an increasingly dangerous time of espionage, especially with Adolf Hitler building an army in Germany. He meets a lawyer for the League of Nations and becomes intrigued by her beauty and intelligence. Concurrently, he is also receiving tank plans from an engineer who is trying to maintain a mistress, while also keep his employers from discovering his deception. All in all, Furst creates a story of pre-War Europe that shows how tensions roiled beneath the seemingly peaceful surface.
This wasn’t the most exciting thriller I’d read, but it certainly adds a new perspective to the World War II genre thrillers that abound. I think too that a French point-of-view adds a certain element of poignance for the 21st century reader, because as we all know, France toppled under Hitler’s duress. If you’re a WWII buff, then go ahead and read this; it’ll give you something new to think about. If you like straight-up thrillers, then you might not enjoy this as much. But it certainly doesn’t hurt to envision David Tennant while you read.
You can also read this review on my personal blog, The Universe Disturbed.