The setting for this novel is occupied France during World War II. There is an active resistance movement by the French that is working every way; they are able to do damage to the Nazi occupation army.
Paul Ricard is a novelist and not involved with the resistance movement until one day fate intervenes. A man fleeing from Gestapo troops is wounded by them and dies, but manages to hand off a document to Paul who is walking by. The document, when examined, looks like a blueprint for a military weapon and Paul makes the decision to try and deliver it to the resistance movement for transport to England. While doing so he becomes completely embroiled into the activities of the resistance.
Paul gets involved with more and more dangerous activities as he is integrated into the work of the French underground. He is finally tasked with traveling through the escape route set up to get people out of France. His job is to find weak points in this system and he does so. While involved with the work he meets Leila, who is a professional spy. They not only work together but enter into a romance.
The novel is a quick read and sufficiently interesting to please most readers who peruse it. Alan Furst has a long history of presenting his readers with interesting and varied novels. Many of his books deal with spies and espionage and “Under Occupation” follows along successfully with the same theme.
11/19 Paul Lane
UNDER OCCUPATION by Alan Furst. Random House (November 26, 2019). ISBN 978-0399592300. 224p.