Brilliant WW2 era spy novel. Furst's characters are full and realistic, his dialog is crisp and believable, the plotting intricate and logical. This book was a great, sprawling, epic story of a Bulgarian, Khristo Stoianev, recruited by the NKVD(Soviet secret police and forerunner of the KGB and FSB) in the lead up to the second world war. Stoianev falls victim to one of Stalin's irrational purges during Stoianev's operations in the Spanish Civil War. He escapes to France, closely pursued by his former NKVD colleagues, and hilarity ensues.
I recommend this book to anyone even tangentially interested in spy fiction, the second world war or the inner workings of Soviet espionage organizations.