by a different author (Remembrance Day by Henry Porter). Louise Doughty (Faber & Faber, £12.99) The place is Indonesia; the period varies from 1998 (parts I and III) and the war against the Communists from 1942 to 1965 (part II). These two decades were marked by extreme violence and the hero, half-asian John Harper, acts cruelly to save himself. A frightening look at what lies behind bravery.
A Hero in France
Alan Furst (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £18.99) As always, this author’s strength is his ability to evoke the mundane terrors behind espionage. Here we are in Paris, where the price of ostrich feathers for cancan dancers has gone up and cheese is kept hidden in the attic. Mathieu and Chantal are operating an escape line for downed RAF airmen. Drama is kept to a minimum, but that makes this novel all the more memorable.