December 18, 2019

Under Occupation

Under Occupation
Alan Furst


(December 18, 2019)

Atmospheric, episodic, and sometimes shaggy, this new Alan Furst thriller captures one of the salient and easily-forgotten facts of the Resistance: it was improvised by amateurs, many of them poorly-suited for the roles they played. A writer of spy novels, Paul Ricard understands that he knows very little about spying, but as something must be done, he does what he can. He finds help in unexpected places, and frequently fails to find help when he looks for it. Ricard’s garret on the rue de la Huchette is perhaps too much a nod to tourist Paris to be quite right here, and I’m not sure that the class and tribal strains of the Occupation are caught precisely. Still, a good book to read as our nation embarks on its brave, doomed mission to impeach the monster.