The World at Night: A Novel - Alan Furst Synopsis
Paris, 1940. The civilized, upper-class life of film producer Jean Casson is derailed by the German occupation of Paris, but Casson learns that with enough money, compromise, and connections, one need not deny oneself the pleasures of Parisian life. Somewhere inside Casson, though, is a stubborn romantic streak. When he’s offered the chance to take part in an operation of the British secret service, this idealism gives him the courage to say yes. A simple mission, but it goes wrong, and Casson realizes he must gamble everything—his career, the woman he loves, life itself. Here is a brilliant re-creation of France—its spirit in the moment of defeat, its valour in the moment of rebirth.

I am a new comer to Alan Furst's novels and to make it worse I am reading them in the wrong order! But I don’t think it really matters.

Good and evil; honour and loyalty...these aspects of the Parisian occupation are laid on the shoulders of this carefree, slightly dissolute, marginally successful film producer Jean Casson.

Casson initially reacts to the war by hoping it will all just go away but he's called up to join the French Army to repel the German invasion, which, which ends in a debacle. Later Jean Casson becomes entangled, albeit reluctantly, in the shady and dangerous world of espionage.

You really get the feel of how it must have been to be part of the French Resistance; Casson is scared, terrified, most of the time. Also he reignites an old flame an actress named Citrine, this romantic liaison adds another layer to the heady mix.

The real achievement of the author is showing the mundane, normal every day experiences like eating, drinking, working, loving against the backdrop of the terror of the occupation and this is what makes the book so "real."