#46 – Night Soldiers, by Alan Furst

Some months ago my father sent me a box of books, mostly historical fiction, and in that box was Alan Furst’s Dark Voyage, of which I have already written on this site. I learned some time later that it was part of a series, a later part, bound together more by theme and setting in time than by characters and situations. The series is called “Night Soldiers”, named for its first volume. I’ve made it my business to acquire the other books (all now except two), with the intention of reading them in order. This is the first of them.

I confess that I could never quite get used to the structure of this book. It mostly follows Khristo, a young Bulgarian from along the Danube who, during the rise of European Fascism, gets sucked into the world of espionage, specifically with the NKVD, the Soviet agency that would eventually become the KGB. Agents from other intelligence organizations also figure heavily, most notably Americans. For an espionage novel, it’s remarkably lacking in tension. Dark Voyage was quite possibly the most taut novel I’ve ever read, but Night Soldiers was much more matter-of-fact, and at times Furst’s research threatened to overwhelm his story. Still, it was entertaining, and a worthy beginning to the subject. Though the plot and the characters both spilled all over the place, I was sad to let them go.

Next is Stunt, by Claudia Dey.


Writer. Editor. Critic.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.