No living writer today can surpass Alan Furst in his mastery of the historical spy novel. With the dexterity of a veteran stage magician, his writing conjures up the tension and the tragedy of life behind the headlines in Europe of the 1930s and 1940s. Furst’s stories cover the territory from antebellum Poland and Spain to Turkey, Greece, and France in the desperate years of war.
Arms merchants and the Spanish Civil War
Midnight in Europe, Furst’s latest work, follows Cristian Ferrar, a brilliant Spanish lawyer working for an American law firm’s Paris office as he is drawn into the intrigue surrounding the Spanish Civil War. Ferrar, called to patriotism by the Republic’s agents in Paris, joins a shadowy cast of arms merchants to procure guns and ammunition for the Republican armies still holding on in Madrid and Barcelona. Set in the eventful days of 1938 — “midnight” in Europe: the year of Kristallnacht in Germany, the Anschluss with Austria, and Chamberlain’s Munich Pact with Hitler — Ferrar’s odyssey ranges from Spain to France to Poland, Czechoslovakia, the USSR, and the USA.
Midnight in Europe (Night Soldiers #13) by Alan Furst @@@@ (4 out of 5)
Midnight in Europe is the product of a mature talent working at the peak of his ability. It’s grounded in reliable research, a nuanced understanding of human behavior, and a command of the craft that builds suspense from the first page to the last. The book can be viewed either as a deeply satisfying spy thriller or as a trustworthy fictional supplement to the histories of pre-war Europe, adding a human dimension to the dry facts of the times.
For additional reading
This book is included in The evocative Night Soldiers series from Alan Furst.
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