Set in a luxurious grand hotel just outside Lisbon, at the height of the Second World War, 'Estoril' is a delightful and poignant novel about exile, divided loyalties, fear and survival.
The hotel's guests include spies, fallen kings, refugees from the Balkans, Nazis, American diplomats and stateless Jews. The Portuguese secret police broodingly observe the visitors, terrified that their country's neutrality will be compromised.
The novel seamlessly fuses the stories of its invented characters with appearances by historical figures like the ex-King Carol of Romania, the great Polish pianist Jan Paderewski, the British agent Ian Fleming, the Russian chess grandmaster Alexander Alekhine and the French writer and flyer Antoine de St Exupery, who forms a poignant friendship with a young Jewish boy living alone in the hotel.
The stories, most of them true, from Popov's rigorous debriefings by his German intelligence handler to Alekhine's terrible death, are extraordinary... ['Estoril' is] a diverting romp' ― The Sunday Times
'Oddly captivating' ― Spectator
Born in the former Yugoslavia in 1965, Dejan Tiago-Stanković is an author and translator. He studied architecture in Belgrade before moving to London. Since 1996 he has lived in Lisbon, translating between his native Serbo-Croatian and Portuguese.