Picks and Pans Review: The World at Night
While Jean Casson, a Parisian film producer, sleeps with his latest conquest, a leggy young assistant named Gabriella, Wehrmacht commando units invade France. So begins Furst's latest thriller about an ordinary man who reluctantly joins the underworld of spies and counterspies.
The details of life under the Germans' iron heel—the ration coupons, coded phone conversations and daily moral dilemmas of the Occupation—are vivid. But the book lapses into macho clichés ("there were women to be made love to, bottles of wine to be opened") and poor plotting. By the time the spy games finally begin, the story has gotten so murky there's no suspense, not even when Casson is cast out into the cold for good. (Random House, $23)