Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst

About the book

Salonika, 1940. To the bustle of tavernas and the smell of hashish, a secret war is taking shape. In the backrooms of barbers, envelopes change hands, and in the Club de Salonique the air is thick with whispers. Costa Zannis is the city’s dashing chief detective – a man with contacts high and low, in the Balkans and beyond. And as unknown ships and British ‘travel writers’ trickle through the port, he is a man very much in demand. Having helped defeat Italy in the highlands of Macedonia, Zannis returns to a city holding its breath. Mussolini’s forces have retreated – for now – but German sights are fixed firmly on the region. And as the situation in Germany worsens, Zannis becomes involved in an audacious plot – smuggling Jews to Istanbul, through the back door of Europe. The British hear he can penetrate the continent’s closed borders, and soon Zannis is embroiled in the resistance, and in a reckless love affair that could jeopardise everything. With a remarkable cast of operatives, SPIES OF THE BALKANS is a brilliant new espionage novel from Alan Furst.

Reviewed by The Accidental Reading Group:

A good book bluc boo but did not result in an indepth discussion. The main character Zannis was an admirable man but we felt the others were rather periphery. We loved the dog!

Star rating: ***

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