Utterly gripping spy thriller set in the glittering world of European high society, just before the Second World War.
November, 1940. I.A Serebin, a writer from Odessa and former decorated Hero of the Soviet Union, is on his way to Istanbul following a cryptic letter from a former lover. Ostensibly there on official business for the International Russian Union, an emigre organisation based in Paris, he is drawn into a clandestine world of international spies and political players.
With war in Europe drawing nearer, Serebin is recruited by the British secret services - his mission to stop the export of Romanian oil to Germany.
In a race against time, Serebin's journey will take him from the glittering salons of Paris to the back alleys of Bucharest and the Black Sea ports, in a covert operation to staunch the flow of oil, the precious 'blood of victory'.
'In the world of espionage thrillers, Alan Furst is in a class of his own.' - William Boyd
'For connoisseurs of wartime thrillers, a new novel by Alan Furst has become a major publishing event.' - Sunday Telegraph
'How do people remain human when everyday life jumps from being maddeningly normal one moment to bringing death, separation, or danger the next? Furst has embraced that existential wrong-footing, and his skill in doing so is what makes him so pleasurable and rewarding to read.' - Spectator
Alan Furst is widely recognised as the master of the historical spy novel. Now translated into eighteen languages, he is the author of novels including MISSION TO PARIS, SPIES OF THE BALKANS - a TV Book Club choice - THE SPIES OF WARSAW, which became a BBC mini-series starring David Tennant and THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT.
Born in New York, he lived for many years in Paris and travelled as a journalist in Eastern Europe and Russia. He has written extensively for Esquire and the International Herald Tribune. He now lives in Long Island.