In Furst's 2002 Blood of Victory, the leftist Russian expat writer Ilya Serebin is recruited in Paris by the British government to serve in the anti-Nazi effort. Serebin desperately wants to defeat the fascists, yet the job to which he is assigned is very abstract and very dangerous: he is to revive an old, commercial-focussed Balkan intelligence network in the hopes of organizing an attack on the Romanian oilfields. The idea is that since the German war-machine relies on oil for its war-factories, destroying the Romanian oilfields (remember, our contemporary MidEast and Caucasian oilfields had not yet been developed) would slow down the German military effort. One of the central ironies in this careful novel takes shape between the abstraction of this goal and the brutally immediate sacrifices that Serebin must suffer.
I was very impressed by this novel: it evoked the atmosphere and dilemmas of a period while focussing on the choices and needs of vivid individuals. And no matter how much or how little one has heard of British efforts to undermine oil production in the East, one will wonder about--and be worried about--the fate of the principle characters in their goals.