Hollywood film star Fredric Stahl is in Paris to make a movie. It is 1938 and tension is high. Born in Austria, Stahl has an insight into European politics unknown to others from America. He is approached by old “friends” who invite him to Berlin for a meeting with Nazi officials eager to include him in an upcoming propaganda film. He plans to refuse until he speaks with a diplomat at the American embassy in Paris who offers Stahl the opportunity to make an “exchange” while in Berlin. So begins his life as a spy. The story and characters, especially the women, are somewhat wooden and simple in this tale of intrigue. The saving interest of the book is attitudes expressed by the French and other Europeans in Paris regarding the possibility of an upcoming war. Germany is pushing appeasement, as are some in England. Most in the U.S. want to stay out, but others with money are willing to finance fact-finding missions. This is an easy read for anyone interested in the period.
Aug 24, 2012