“First-rate research collaborates with first-rate imagination. . . . Superb.”—The Boston Globe
Paris, 1940. The civilized, upper-class life of film producer Jean Casson is derailed by the German occupation of Paris, but Casson learns that with enough money, compromise, and connections, one need not deny oneself the pleasures of Parisian life. Somewhere inside Casson, though, is a stubborn romantic streak. When he’s offered the chance to take part in an operation of the British secret service, this idealism gives him the courage to say yes. A simple mission, but it goes wrong, and Casson realizes he must gamble everything—his career, the woman he loves, life itself. Here is a brilliant re-creation of France—its spirit in the moment of defeat, its valor in the moment of rebirth.
Praise for The World at Night
“[The World at Night] earns a comparison with the serious entertainments of Graham Greene and John le Carré. . . . Gripping, beautifully detailed . . . an absorbing glimpse into the moral maze of espionage.”—Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times
“[The World at Night] is the world of Eric Ambler, the pioneering British author of classic World War II espionage fiction. . . . The novel is full of keen dialogue and witty commentary . . . . Thrilling.”—Herbert Mitgang, Chicago Tribune
“With the authority of solid research and a true fascination for his material, Mr. Furst makes idealism, heroism, and sacrifice believable and real.”—David Walton, The Dallas Morning News
With uninspired plotting, Furst makes disappointing use of a vividly evoked wartime Paris in his latest WWII espionage novel (The Polish Officer; Dark Star; Night Soldiers). Hedonistic Parisian film producer Jean Casson thrives in Paris's active film industry, enjoying the colorful social scene, the posh restaurants and the beautiful, available women. But this world he knows so well all but disappears when Germans march into France and seize the city. At first, Casson strives merely to survive, but he's soon drawn into duty as an amateur intelligence operative and finds himself in a precarious position, buffeted by British Intelligence, resistance forces and the Gestapo. In the process, Casson discovers two powerful forces within himself--his patriotism and his consuming passion for an old lover, the beautiful actress Citrine. Furst brings this fascinating, historic Paris to life with his usual masterful use of period detail. But while Casson makes an intriguing protagonist, his relationships with other characters are presented rather schematically--in particular, his affair with Citrine, which ultimately proves so influential, is never satisfactorily developed. More importantly, Casson's career as a spy, marked by mixed success on missions that seem insignificant, is anticlimactic and a bit confusing. In the end, the novel never attains the dramatic pitch of Furst's recent The Polish Officer.