Alan Furst is the master of the historical spy novel, particularly the era just before World War II erupts. In Spies of the Balkans, he takes on, well, the Balkans.

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Costa Zannis is a Greek policeman, with his finger on the pulse of the underground in the port city of Salonika, Greece. Soon he’s in a romance, and involved with spies. With the German Army marshaling on the border, …. Alan Furst does his thing. Which is showing you the looming menace of Germany and the wholesale destruction of WWII, in an historically and geographically accurate way. Always good fun.

I’ve actually met Mr. Furst at a book signing. He’s polite, self-effacing, and incredibly knowledgeable about this era of history. Do yourself and him a favor and buy this book, although if you’ve not read him before, you might consider starting with Night Soldiers or one of this earlier works.