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Midnight in Europe

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Midnight in Europe Cover

ISBN13: 9781400069491
ISBN10: 1400069491
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Alan Furst is widely recognized as the master of the historical spy novel. Now translated into eighteen languages, he is the author of Night Soldiers, Dark Star, The Polish Officer, The World at Night, Red Gold, Kingdom of Shadows, Blood of Victory, Dark Voyage, The Foreign Correspondent, The Spies of Warsaw, Spies of the Balkans, Mission to Paris, and Midnight in Europe. Born in New York, he lived for many years in Paris, and now lives on Long Island.

Review:

"After a slow start, this spy thriller set in 1938 from Edgar finalist Furst (Mission to Paris) settles into a lazy pace, as it charts the attempts of two part-time arms dealers, Chistián Ferrar and Max de Lyon, to serve the Spanish Republic and its beleaguered army while most of the continent has its eye on Berlin. Every clandestine mission they undertake — a prolonged quest for cannons in Poland, a nifty operation to trick Russia out of field guns and antiaircraft weaponry in Odessa — is fraught with struggle, and the pro-Franco Nazi spy apparatus always seems one step ahead. A revolving cast of secondary characters leads several plotlines that peter out, heavy on atmosphere, light on action. As usual, Furst manages to capture the fragile, itinerant nature of European life during the interwar period, dropping in hints of the horror to come, but this is one of his less memorable efforts. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

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nrlymrtl, September 22, 2014 (view all comments by nrlymrtl)
Note: Even though this book is #13 in the series, it worked just fine as a stand alone.

Cristian Ferrar is a Spanish emigre living in France, having moved with his family at a young age, completed his schooling, and attained a position at a prestigious law firm. He is the sole financial support for his family, yet even with this on his mind, he can’t turn down the possibility to help the Spanish Republic in their civil war. Set in 1938, WWII wasn’t yet begun, but there is plenty of strive throughout Europe as powers large and small jockey for position and gather in weapons and assets. Cristian teams up with Max de Lyon as they enter Germany in search of a reliable arms dealer. They are joined off and on throughout the story by colorful associates and Cristian isn’t one to put his love life on hold just because he has to worry about spies and thugs.

I enjoyed the tandem plot lines of Spanish civil war and the hints that some bigger war (WWII) is coming. Germany is tightening up her borders and cracking down on dissenters. Russia is building up weapons stocks. The wealthy pick up and leave their homelands in search of safer grounds. There was plenty of uncertainty at this time and Furst captured that very well. Since Cristian’s family left Spain seeking a more peaceful and safer abode, he knows well the double-edged sword of being an emigre. His position at a prestigious Paris law firm, one that also has offices in New York, gave him heady creditability that let his bluff his way through more than one predicament.

While we are talking about Cristian, we have to talk about his ladies. I won’t talk about all of them, because that would take too many paragraphs. I will say that he seems to be a considerate lover, and usually a good one. Of course, his predilection towards love affairs from the start of the book made me suspicious that a woman may lead him into trouble with his spy work, so when that did happen, it was not a surprise. While there are several ladies in this novel, they are merely two-dimensional at best (they have a front side and a back side, and both are usually pleasing to Cristian’s eye). None of them have any role that impacts the plot and nearly all of them are love interests, though we do have at least 2 motherly figures tossed in. I think it is obvious that I would have enjoyed some of the ladies to take a more active role in the plot instead of being scenery.

Putting that one criticism aside, we had a pretty interesting plot that centered around trying to get weapons/armaments out of one country and into another. This was far more complicated than any movie ever depicted it and I was right there with Max and Cristian feeling their determined frustration over the matter. The story took us to several countries as secret agreements were made and potential assets were spied out. There were some grimly humorous scenes tossed in that made the book a joy to listen to.

As with any good historical fiction, I learned a few things. I won’t bore you with all of them, but here are two that I found particularly interesting. During this time, the Reich of Germany supported public nudity, as admiration of the ‘perfect Aryan body’ was very important. Plus, who doesn’t enjoy naked volleyball (except for maybe the heavy breasted �" male or female!)? The second little bit was that Cristian took a date to an expensive restaurant and they were given male & female menus. The Lady’s menu lacked any prices. I guess in 1938, it was assumed in all the swanky places that the man was paying. An entertaining read!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400069491
Author:
Furst, Alan
Publisher:
Random House
Author:
Furst, Alan
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Contemporary Thrillers
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Technothrillers
Subject:
1930s;paris;espionage and spy thrillers;historical thriller;world war ii novels;spy thriller;mystery thriller
Publication Date:
20140631
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9.61 x 6.36 x 0.99 in 1.06 lb

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Midnight in Europe Used Hardcover
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Product details 272 pages Random House - English 9781400069491 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "After a slow start, this spy thriller set in 1938 from Edgar finalist Furst (Mission to Paris) settles into a lazy pace, as it charts the attempts of two part-time arms dealers, Chistián Ferrar and Max de Lyon, to serve the Spanish Republic and its beleaguered army while most of the continent has its eye on Berlin. Every clandestine mission they undertake — a prolonged quest for cannons in Poland, a nifty operation to trick Russia out of field guns and antiaircraft weaponry in Odessa — is fraught with struggle, and the pro-Franco Nazi spy apparatus always seems one step ahead. A revolving cast of secondary characters leads several plotlines that peter out, heavy on atmosphere, light on action. As usual, Furst manages to capture the fragile, itinerant nature of European life during the interwar period, dropping in hints of the horror to come, but this is one of his less memorable efforts. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , US
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