Greece, 1940. Not sunny vacation Greece: northern Greece,
Macedonian Greece, Balkan Greeceâ€”the city of Salonika. In
that ancient port, with its wharves and warehouses, dark
lanes and Turkish mansions, brothels and tavernas, a tense
political drama is being played out. On the northern border,
the Greek army has blocked Mussoliniâ€™s invasion, pushing his
divisions back to Albaniaâ€”the first defeat suffered by the
Nazis, who have conquered most of Europe. But Adolf Hitler
cannot tolerate such freedom; the invasion is coming, itâ€™s
only a matter of time, and the people of Salonika can only
watch and wait.
At the center of this drama is Costa Zannis, a senior police
official, head of an office that handles special â€śpoliticalâ€ť
cases. As war approaches, the spies begin to circle, from
the Turkish legation to the German secret service. Thereâ€™s a
British travel writer, a Bulgarian undertaker, and more.
Costa Zannis must deal with them all. And he is soon in the
game, securing an escape routeâ€”from Berlin to Salonika, and
then to a tenuous safety in Turkey, a route protected by
German lawyers, Balkan detectives, and Hungarian gangsters.
And hunted by the Gestapo.
Meanwhile, as war threatens, the erotic life of the city
grows passionate. For Zannis, that means a British
expatriate who owns the local ballet academy, a woman from
the dark side of Salonika society, and the wife of a local
Declared â€śan incomparable expert at his gameâ€ť by The New
York Times, Alan Furst outdoes even his own finest novels in
this thrilling new book. With extraordinary authenticity, a
superb cast of characters, and heart-stopping tension as it
moves from Salonika to Paris to Berlin and back, Spies of
the Balkans is a stunning novel about a man who risks
everything to rightâ€”in many small waysâ€”the worldâ€™s evil.