Alan Furst has a rare and amazing talent that enables a reader to experience the locations in the book with all the senses. His writing is compact, yet his economy of words only increases the sense of being there. I have been to the Brasserie Heininger many times with many different characters. I have smelled the cigarette smoke and I have heard the raucous laughter. I have marveled at the bullet hole in the mirror behind table 14 and have enjoyed several meals, all courtesy of this gifted author. And as always I leave that fine establishment as I leave all of his novels; hungry for more and looking forward to my next visit.

Start with any of his books and read them in any order. You will find yourself returning to familiar places with new people, and occasionally you’ll bump into those people again in another story. Such is the joy of reading Furst. It’s like being on the A-List in late 1930’s Europe, when everyone knew trouble was brewing and did their very best to find distractions. You’re always in the middle of the excitement with the most interesting people.