Night Soldiers by Alan Furst 
submitted by Luke

Night Soldiers by Alan Furst begins in Bulgaria in 1934. There Khristo Stoianev, the novelís protagonist, witnesses his brotherís death at the hands of the local fascist thugs for poking fun at their uniforms. Khristo escapes his hometown and turns to communism as a way to avenge his brotherís death.

Eventually, he is recruited by the NKVD (the Soviet Unionís espionage bureau) and sent to Moscow for training. Following his training, Khristo is sent to Spain in the last years of the Spanish Civil War. After the fall of Madrid in 1939 and his disillusionment with the Soviet Union, Khristo flees to Paris. There he seeks to escape from his past while agents of the NKVD doggedly pursue him. In order to survive, Khristo must reach out to old comrades and classmates from his training days, even as the clouds of war start to build over Europe.

This is the first of eleven books in a series. Some other titles in the series are The Polish Officer, Blood of Victory, Red Gold, The Foreign Correspondent, and Spies of the Balkans. The series is marked by well-paced storylines that are backed by strong research and characterization. The books do not follow one theme and feature repeating characters and settings. Throughout, the reader is provided a view of inter-war Europe that is seldom discussed in this country.

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