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Month in review

Reviews:
Abduction by Robin Cook
Basket Case by Carl Hiaasen
The Best First Book Ever by Richard Scarry
The Chatham School Affair by Thomas H. Cook
Condominium by John D. MacDonald
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips
Envy by Sandra Brown
Fondling Your Muse by John Warner
Forbidden Freedom by Cheddi Jagan
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Kingdom of Shadows by Alan Furst
The Lesson of the Master by Henry James
Little Polar Bear, Take Me Home! by Hans de Beer
The Magic of Encouragement by Stephanie Marston
Mantra and the Modern Man by Prabha Duneja
Marmalade's Yellow Leaf by Cindy Wheeler
Mortal Fear by Robin Cook
Mr. Meebles by Jack Kent
My Mortal Enemy by Willa Cather
Never Nosh a Matzo Ball by Sharon Kahn
Once Upon a Town by Bob Greene
One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root
The Princess Goes West by Nan Ryan
Skye Cameron by Phyllis A. Whitney
A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve
Wish You Were Here by Rita Mae Brown
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

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Kingdom of Shadows: 07/04/07

One Duck Stuck

Kingdom of Shadows is the second Alan Furst novel I've read. This one follows the opening days of the war with Hitler's rise to power but from the point of view of the owner of an advertising agency in Paris who is balancing his time between work, his mistress and some espionage for his Hungarian uncle.

Nicholas Morath and his small group of friends remind me of the idle and bored characters of F. Scott Fitzgerald's, with Tender is the Night coming specifically to mind. The only difference is that their parties are set against the backdrop of the early days of WWII. Family duty forces Morath to attempt heroic acts at a time when he (and most of the rest of Paris) is having trouble believing what is on the horizon.

As with Dark Voyage, the middle section of the book drags a bit as Hurst pauses to let the historical events play out. The characters step aside and the book becomes more of a book report than a novel. While it's good to get things in context, these interludes are best when skimmed.

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