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The one for the job

Cover of Basil's War
A review of Basil's War by Stephen Hunter

Basil's War introduces British special agent Basil St. Florian who spends his off time drinking and sleeping with film stars and his work time being sent into Nazi-occupied France on secret missions during WWII. If all that sounds a bit flashy? It is. Basil's newest assignment is to enter occupied France and gain access to a manuscript kept in the archives in a Paris that swarms with the German military.

This felt like an old-school spy thriller à la James Bond, long on derring-do and a suavely charming hero and short on deep character development. And that's okay. It isn't about whatever has brought Basil to this heroic, but cynical point, in his life. It's about the mission: will he accomplish it and against all odds survive? And it's a totally zippy read from start to finish. Just what I needed in these tense times.

Jan 20, 2021