bonnie’s #CBR5 Review #38: The Spies of Warsaw by Alan Furst

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.

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