The Foreign Correspondent (Night Soldiers)
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From Alan Furst, whom The New York Times calls “America’s preeminent spy novelist,” comes an epic story of romantic love, love of country, and love of freedom–the story of a secret war fought in elegant hotel bars and first-class railway cars, in the mountains of Spain and the backstreets of Berlin. It is an inspiring, thrilling saga of everyday people forced by their hearts’ passion to fight in the war against tyranny.
By 1938, hundreds of Italian intellectuals, lawyers and journalists, university professors and scientists had escaped Mussolini’s fascist government and taken refuge in Paris. There, amid the struggles of émigré life, they founded an Italian resistance, with an underground press that smuggled news and encouragement back to Italy. Fighting fascism with typewriters, they produced 512 clandestine newspapers. The Foreign Correspondent is their story.
Paris, a winter night in 1938: a murder/suicide at a discreet lovers’ hotel. But this is no romantic traged–it is the work of the OVRA, Mussolini’s fascist secret police, and is meant to eliminate the editor of Liberazione, a clandestine émigré newspaper. Carlo Weisz, who has fled from Trieste and secured a job as a foreign correspondent with the Reuters bureau, becomes the new editor.
Weisz is, at that moment, in Spain, reporting on the last campaign of the Spanish civil war. But as soon as he returns to Paris, he is pursued by the French Sûreté, by agents of the OVRA, and by officers of the British Secret Intelligence Service. In the desperate politics of Europe on the edge of war, a foreign correspondent is a pawn, worth surveillance, or blackmail, or murder.
The Foreign Correspondent is the story of Carlo Weisz and a handful of antifascists: the army officer known as “Colonel Ferrara,” who fights for a lost cause in Spain; Arturo Salamone, the shrewd leader of a resistance group in Paris; and Christa von Schirren, the woman who becomes the love of Weisz’s life, herself involved in a doomed resistance underground in Berlin.
The Foreign Correspondent is Alan Furst at his absolute best–taut and powerful, enigmatic and romantic, with sharp, seductive writing that takes the reader through darkness and intrigue to a spectacular denouement.
From the Hardcover edition.
about what it might have been like to make love to her, about Véronique, about his chaotic love life, this one and that one, wherever they were that night. Thought particularly about the, well, not the love of his life perhaps, but the woman he never stopped thinking about, because their hours together had been, always, exciting and passionate. “It’s just that we were made for each other,” she would say, a melancholy sigh in her voice. “Sometimes I think, why can’t we just, continue?” Continue
been summoned to this meeting, he decided, as the editor of Liberazione—an assignment for Inspector Pompon, the new man on the job: Would he spy for them? Would he be discreet on the subject of French politics? And we’ll be speaking with you again meant we’re watching you. So then, watch. But the answers, no, and yes, would not change. Now Weisz felt better. Not such a bad day, he thought, the sun in and out, big, fancy clouds coming in from the Channel and flying east over the city. Weisz, on
waiter dealt the cards for the next hand. “Maybe it’s in the baggage,” the waiter said. “We could be playing on it right now.” Gennaro looked around, at trunks and suitcases piled everywhere. “They search that at the border,” he said. “True,” the conductor said. “That’s not your job. They can’t expect you to do everything.” “Bundle of newspapers,” the porter said. “Tied up with a string, you mean. We’d be sure to see something like that.” “And you never did, right, you’re sure?” “Seen a lot
tomorrow?” “It would be much better, tomorrow, for our discussion.” The inspector tipped his hat, said goodby, and hurried off. Strange sort of man, the Dragon thought. And, even stranger, Elena the subject of an investigation. Something of an aristocrat, this Italian woman, with her sharp face, long, graying hair worn back in a clip, ironic smile—not a criminal type, not at all. What could she have done? But, who had time to wonder about such things, for here, at last, was the plumber. Elena
sighting, Salamone said, by Sergio, of the man in the hat with the green feather. Weisz advised Salamone to call it off; they had enough. “And the next time we call a meeting,” he’d said, “it will be an editorial conference, for the next Liberazione.” That was more than optimistic, he thought, staring out the window, but first he would have to telephone Pompon. He considered doing it, almost reaching for the number, then, once again, put it off. He’d do it later, now he had to work. Taking the