Black Wa­ter

Country Life Every Week - - Books -

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.

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