The Spies of Warsaw: A Novel

By Alan Furst


War is coming to Europe. French and German intelligence operatives are locked in a life-and-death fight at the espionage battlefield. on the French embassy, in Warsaw, the recent army attaché, Colonel Jean-François Mercier, a embellished hero of the 1914 struggle, is drawn right into a international of abduction, betrayal, and intrigue within the diplomatic salons and again alleys of the town. while, the good-looking aristocrat unearths himself in a passionate love affair with a Parisian lady of Polish history, a legal professional for the League of countries. Risking his lifestyles, Colonel Mercier needs to paintings in the shadows, amid a rare forged of venal characters, a few identified to Mercier as spies, a few by no means to be printed.

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Via his facet, Marek used to be probing on the flooring along with his foot and Mercier, resisting the urge to take advantage of the flashlight, acquired down on his knees and commenced feeling round within the airborne dirt and dust, then digging with a cupped hand. Crawling forward, he dug back and this time, down a foot or so within the unfastened soil, his hand encountered a coarse fringe of concrete, combination; he may believe the pebbles within the demanding cement. As he dug additional, Marek got here crawling up beside him and whispered by means of his ear, “What is it? ” Dragon’s teeth, yet Mercier couldn’t say it in Polish. “Tank trap,” he stated. “Covered over? ” “Yes, deserted. ” “Why? ” Mercier shook his head; no reason—or, fairly, too many purposes. They crawled ahead, their knees sinking into the gentle earth, until eventually they reached good floor, which made the tank seize a lot as all of the others Mercier had encountered: a ditch with steep facets approximately twenty toes broad, with a row of sloped concrete bollards halfway throughout. If a tank commander didn’t see it, his tank could slip over the sting, tilted ahead opposed to the so-called dragon’s enamel, not able to maneuver. no longer an unforeseen characteristic in border fortifications, however the Germans had outfitted this, then crammed it in, the disturbed soil settling with rain and time. And Mercier knew it used to be no longer at the map, which confirmed a 3rd line of cord. This they discovered a couple of minutes later and minimize their means via it. simply slightly obvious, approximately fifty yards sooner than them, used to be a watchtower, a silhouette faint opposed to the evening sky. all of sudden, from someplace to definitely the right of the tower, a mild went on, its beam probing the darkness, sweeping previous them, then returning. through then, they have been either flat at the flooring. From the course of the sunshine, a shout: “Halt! ” Then, in German, “Stand up! ” Mercier and Marek checked out one another. In Marek’s fingers, a Radom computerized, aimed at the voice, and the sunshine, which now went out. get up? Mercier idea. give up? A sheepish admission of who they have been? mobile calls to the French embassy in Berlin? As Marek watched, Mercier drew the pistol from his pocket and braced it within the criminal of his elbow. the sunshine went on back, relocating as its bearer got here towards them. It used to be Marek who fired first, yet Mercier was once basically an quick in the back of him, aiming on the mild, the pistol bucking two times in his hand. Then he rolled—fast—away from Marek, clear of the site of the photographs. Out within the darkness, the sunshine went off, a voice acknowledged, “Ach,” then swore, and a responding volley snapped the air above his head. whatever stung the facet of his face, and, whilst he attempted to try back, the afterimages of the muzzle flares, orange lighting, floated prior to his eyes. He ran a give up the surface under his temple and peered at it; no blood, simply airborne dirt and dust. Silence. Mercier counted sixty seconds, seventy, 90. the sunshine got here again on, just for a moment or , aimed now not at them yet on the floor underneath it, then went off. Mercier suggestion he heard whispers, and the faint sounds of individuals relocating approximately. used to be it attainable they have been going to break out with this?

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