"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Thursday, April 02, 2015

The Polish Officer

TITLE: The Polish Officer
AUTHOR: Alan Furst

By now it should be no secret that Alan Furst is one of my favorite authors. I'm just past halfway through his published books so far, and he keeps writing new ones, so at this rate, I might never get past halfway.

The officer of the title is Alexander de Milja, a cartographer in the Polish military who is recruited into the underground when Poland falls to Hitler's troops. His first assignment is to transport the gold of Poland's treasurey on the first segment of its trip out of the country. Other missions follow, in Paris and elsewhere in occupied France, and in Ukraine and Polish border towns after the Germans invade the Soviet Union.

Furst paints a vivid portrait of life under occupation in the various locales, as well as detailing aspects of spying as part of an underground resistance. As in his other books, his characters, everyday people who rise to the occasion, come to life and his prose give the "you are there" quality that make his writing so addictive. Somehow, a series of missions add up to a chilling, thrilling whole.