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Midnight in Europe (Night Soldiers, #13)
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Midnight in Europe (Night Soldiers #13)

3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  1,808 ratings  ·  377 reviews
Paris, 1938. As the shadow of war darkens Europe, democratic forces on the Continent struggle against fascism and communism, while in Spain the war has already begun. Alan Furst, whom Vince Flynn has called “the most talented espionage novelist of our generation,” now gives us a taut, suspenseful, romantic, and richly rendered novel of spies and secret operatives in Paris ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Random House (first published June 3rd 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeffrey Keeten
”Wouldn’t it be a better world if people revealed themselves? Did what they secretly wanted? ‘I know you want to kiss me,’ she said. ‘What are you afraid of?’ So he locked the door and they went ahead with it, his hands exploring her...She stood, removed hat and dress, then...suddenly self-conscious, ‘Would you look away for a moment?’ He did, discovering a perfect image of the dimly lit compartment in the dark window as she wriggled out of the girdle, freeing a cascade of soft, rosy flesh.”

 photo ParisianGirdle_zps3357bca5.jpgPar
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Michael
I got a pretty good fix for my addiction to this loosely connected series. Now up to 13 books known as “The Night Soldiers” collection, they all take place in the last few years before France is invaded (May 1940) and feature relatively ordinary people become extraordinary by getting involved in actions to slow the impeding takeover of Europe by the fascists.. France is usually a setting for much of the action, but the plots spread the narrative to peoples and locations in other countries which ...more
Helen
Damn! I finished it in one day! Now I have to wait two years for his next one! *sigh* Maybe I'll go reread Night Soldiers or Dark Star. That might make me feel better.

I've always wondered what the Spanish Civil War was really about. No one could tell me. I knew it was a testing ground for Hitler's new weapons, but that's about it. (So, yeah, maybe I'm a dope, but I wasn't really clear on what World War 1 was about either, until my daughter wrote an 11th grade paper about it.)

As he always does,
...more
Manray9
With “Midnight in Europe” Alan Furst is exposed as a good novelist now simply going through the motions. He has lost his edge. His characters are stereotypes and the plot, always his weakness, is more lifeless than usual. Furst continues to patronize his readers with ham-handed history lessons.

I came across two lines which, if they had been openings, would be contenders for the annual Bulwer-Lytton Contest:

“He believed, deep down where his desire lived, that redheads had thinner skin, so that a
...more
Nancy
Furst phoned this one in. The characters, settings and dialogue are sketchy and formulaic, even as he explains things any dunderhead would know and repeats plot points in case we missed them the first time. A very disappointing effort from an author who's given me much entertainment in the past. This barely earns two stars.
Tony
MIDNIGHT IN EUROPE. (2012). Alan Furst. ***.
Furst was not up to his usual high standard with this novel. It is more of an outline of potential characters thrown at a potential crisis that he could dip into in the future. His main character is Cristian Ferrar, an attorney for a global partnership dealing in international affairs. He has offices, seemingly, in most countries of Europe. The period is the late 1930s. The Spanish Civil War is raging. Franco is sure to win since the Republicans cannot
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Abby
Sep 13, 2014 Abby rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
Either Alan Furst has lost a step or I've read too many of his books and they're starting to seem interchangeable. Smoky, Champagne-soaked cosmopolitan Europe, just before the cataclysm of WWII, is as well drawn as ever and sucks me in every time. But the assorted cast of aristocrats, gangsters, whores, bureaucrats, spies, and always at least one brave working stiff with his political heart in the right place, is getting old. As is our stalwart hero, an amateur called, often reluctantly, to the ...more
Thelma Adams
Has Alan Furst spoiled me for Alan Furst? He remains one of my favorite authors of historical espionage. I pre-buy every new volume, although his last book, "Mission to Paris," about a Hollywood actor spying in Europe was the least satisfying. In "Midnight in Europe," the research is impeccable. The prose pristine. The psychological insight astute. The women characters intrigue; the protagonist wise and complicated.

Again we have a chapter from the WWII playbook, a slice that evokes the whole: a
...more
Emily
What is there left to say about Alan Furst? This novel was not better than the others, nor as good, but I can't call it appreciably worse. Some reviews have said Furst phoned this one in, which I don't agree with, but I think they put their fingers on something lackluster in this book, which I'm more willing to pin on its focus on the Spanish Civil War. That conflict is more complex and less familiar and it's not going to be as easy to use its events and outcome to loom over the story. I did fin ...more
Yvonne
'Midnight in Europe" begins with a lovely paragraph about snow falling on Manhattan...and then goes downhill. This is not Furst’s exceptional writing, his tense plots, his foreboding atmosphere, his intriguing protagonists, his almost poetic occasional phrases, his settings that transported the reader. Another reviewer said, “Furst phoned it in.” I say it feels as if Furst subcontracted it.
More than a book with a central story, "Midnight in Europe" it is a series of stories, involving the same l
...more
Terri
Review also found at http://kristineandterri.blogspot.ca/

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Random House via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. The expected publication date is June 10, 2014.

This is one of those stories where I struggle with my comments and opinion....

The book was exactly as advertised. A spy novel with numerous dangerous and sketchy plots in an effort to assist a war effort. Check. Well written and easy to understand. Check. An interesting vent
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Joe
Furst’s books are billed as World War II historical thrillers. The “thriller” label is a bit of a stretch, which is not a knock. (And Furst’s books are usually set just before or early in the war.) His books are character driven, rather than being one heart thumping chase scene or shoot-out after another. Furst’s protagonists are not your stereotypical war heroes. They fight off the battlefield and on the fringe of the war, battling Nazi Germany/tyranny/evil one day at a time, against incredible ...more
Cathy
*ARC*
This is the first Alan Furst book I have read, and I loved it. The plot is so subtle you almost miss it. The gentle storytelling and personal details make the reader feel like they are sitting next to Cristián listening to him tell about his day in the office. When he is finished you think, WOW, that was amazing. The nonchalant way the action happens draws you in and keeps you reading even though you know you need to put the book down and go to bed. This isn't one of those spy novels that i
...more
Larraine
I'm not usually a fan of spy novels, but the period prior to WWII has always interested me and the description was intriguing. The book takes place during the waning days of the Spanish Civil War, a war that has also been referred to as a rehearsal for WWII since it was, essentially a training ground for Fascism. The book's central character is Cristian Ferrer, an attorney with a well known law firm with offices both in Paris and New York. They are sympathetic to anti fascist causes. Ferrar's bo ...more
jordan
Can there be an end of stories in pre-war 1930s Europe worth telling? Alan Furst plainly doesn't think so and to be fair, he continues to entertain. Furst's combination of a fine eye for detail, unexpectedly sharp sense of humor, and ability to conjure the past has helped make his long series of novels a success. That said, it isn't so much the period as the plot which seems to be growing repetitive. With few exceptions, his heroes are all strong men (and they're always men), with a well develop ...more
Caroline Bock
I brought Midnight in Europe on vacation to the beach. Warning: it's not a beach book, if you are looking for something light and fluffy. It's set primarily in Paris, right before World War II, with the Spanish Civil War underway, and our main character, a lawyer with a noted international law firm, doing spy work——moving armaments from Eastern Europe, Odessa, to Spain. If this novel was made into a movie, the cinematography would be murky, grey, the season's in between spring and summer. I love ...more
Kathy
My first introduction to the writing of Alan Furst and I am reading more.

I've seen in reviews that this is not his finest work but I really enjoyed it. A period piece set in parts of Europe 1938 pre-WWII. The fight in Spain (which I know little about) is a main theme in this spy book.

I thought it was exciting and I could see a movie made of it...they have to get anti-aircraft ammo for the Spanish fights and how they go about it, run from people trying to catch them is the theme of this novel.

Thr
...more
Nancy Brisson
Midnight in Europe by Alan Furst is a story of how ordinary people did extraordinary things when Europe was headed into the darkness of fascism and communism just before Hitler really began to power his way through Eastern and then Western Europe.

Some may see this novel as being about as exciting as watching paint dry, because the events described are not the action-filled spy thriller fare we are used to. But to me this plays out as a period piece in 1930’s costumes. It is suspenseful but in qu
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Flo
I wanted to write a rave review about Midnight in Europe by Alan Furst, probably one of my favorite authors, but I could only give this one 3 stars although perhaps it deserves more because he delivers exactly what I had hoped and expected and yet this is not one of his better novels.

Christian Ferrar, a Spanish lawyer living in Paris in the years before World War II, is asked by the Spanish Embassy to help the Republican forces in Spain against Franco's fascist army in its bid to take over Spai
...more
Jim Loter
Less an espionage thriller and more of a procurement procedural, Furst's latest in the "Night Soldiers" series is downhill even from "Mission to Paris," which I felt was already a marked decline from his earlier novels.

In "Midnight in Europe" we focus on Cristián Ferrar, a Spanish lawyer living in Paris, who becomes involved in an effort to smuggle arms and ammunition to the republicans in his home country. There is very little tension as Ferrar rather openly pursues his aims, announcing his mis
...more
Maria Grazia
There is no doubt that the historical period immediately preceding the outbreak of World War II is very intriguing for a writer of spy story, and in fact Alan Furst, acknowledged master of the field, does not miss the big pot of international intrigue that the time has put in front of him, focusing particularly on the bloody civil war fought in Spain. His characters are an expatriate Spaniard lawyer, an adventurer with name is false as a 3 euro coin, a Polish count, some purebred dogs, a fascina ...more
Mark

I haven't read all of Alan Furst's work, but this one seems to fall squarely into the approach he has made famous: create an appealing character who is trying in his own small way to make a difference in the fight against fascism or other tyrannies, put him in several tense and life threatening situations, and don't create any false hopes for a happy ending.

In this novel, Parisian lawyer and Spaniard Cristian Farrar is enlisted to help the Spanish Republic in its doomed efforts to defeat the for
...more
Bill
Over the years, I have read several of Alan Furst's books and while I appreciated the writing, I never truly warmed to his books. I did like a couple of them (Dark Voyage and Spies of Warsaw). However, with this one, I find even the writing pedestrian and repetitious. The book bounces between a romance (with the main character, Cristián Ferrar, involved with two women) and a spy story with an episodic plot that never really took off. Furst has been frequently compared with LeCarre, but there is ...more
-RadioActiveBookWorm-
Goodreads Synopsis: Paris, 1938. As the shadow of war darkens Europe, democratic forces on the Continent struggle against fascism and communism, while in Spain the war has already begun. Alan Furst, whom Vince Flynn has called “the most talented espionage novelist of our generation,” now gives us a taut, suspenseful, romantic, and richly rendered novel of spies and secret operatives in Paris and New York, in Warsaw and Odessa, on the eve of World War II.
Cristián Ferrar, a brilliant and handsome
...more
Carey Combe
Disappointingly formulaic but still very readable.
Harvey Solomon
No one has mined the pre-World War II European setting more successfully than Alan Furst (though overall I prefer Philip Kerr, whose engrossing Bernie Gunther novels jump from pre- to during to post-WWII).

While I've read most of Furst's books, truth be told, they all sort of blend together in my mind. Though I found his last effort, Mission to Paris, an especially slight, sub-par outing.

But here with Midnight in Europe he's back on track. His writing immerses you in this on-the-edge-of war world
...more
Al
I'm constitutionally incapable of disliking an Alan Furst book. This one has much of the great sense of place and time, pre-WWII Europe, which are Mr. Furst's strengths. With that said, MIE continues some recent trends in his work which to me, at least, are not positive. First, the mood and menace of his early novels is virtually non-existent here. Yes, there are some close calls, and some risky missions undertaken, but the overall effect is rather light. Second, the protagonist is a well-to-do ...more
Dick Reynolds
In Alan Furst’s latest, the focus is on the war in Spain during the late 1930s with protagonist, Cristian Ferrar, a handsome Spanish emigre and attorney in the Paris law offices of an international firm. Ferrar becomes involved in a clandestine operation to supply weapons to the beleaguered army of the Spanish Republic. His chief ally is Max de Lyon, a Swiss Jew and former arms merchant who is hunted by the German Gestapo.
Spies and counter-spies litter the countryside and the oppressive gloom
...more
John
This was a pleasant but not a great read. I have read several of Furst's Night Soldiers novels and this ranked in the middle of the pack. The plot line was OK but seemed too implausible at times and there were tangents that did not add much to the story (but may reappear in future Night Solder novels.)

I would have like to have read more about the research Furst did for the book. Did anyone ever try to send armaments to the Spanish Republic in the way described in the book? I realize there's a c
...more
Comrade_Bazarov
A mere ghost of Furst's previous works, Midnight in Europe tries to do too many things at the same time and fails to satisfy readers. The main plot centers around a hotshot Spanish lawyer working and living in Paris who gets involved in the shadowy world of espionage when he agrees to help the Republican faction in the Spanish civil war by dealing armaments. Some characters ( particularly our dashing lawyer's friend Max) are memorably colorful but our hero is bland and flat - the Nick Carraway o ...more
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Alan Furst is widely recognized as the current master of the historical spy novel. Born in New York, he has lived for long periods in France, especially Paris. He now lives on Long Island.

Night Soldiers novels
* Night Soldiers (1988)
* Dark Star (1991)
* The Polish Officer (1995)
* The World at Night (1996)
* Red Gold (1999)
* Kingdom of Shadows (2000)
* Blood of Victory (2003)
* Dark Voyage (2004)
* The F
...more
More about Alan Furst...

Other Books in the Series

Night Soldiers (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Night Soldiers (Night Soldiers, #1)
  • Dark Star (Night Soldiers, #2)
  • The Polish Officer (Night Soldiers, #3)
  • The World at Night (Night Soldiers, #4)
  • Red Gold (Night Soldiers, #5)
  • Kingdom of Shadows (Night Soldiers, #6)
  • Blood of Victory (Night Soldiers, #7)
  • Dark Voyage (Night Soldiers, #8)
  • The Foreign Correspondent (Night Soldiers, #9)
  • The Spies of Warsaw (Night Soldiers, #10)
Night Soldiers (Night Soldiers, #1) Mission to Paris (Night Soldiers, #12) The Spies of Warsaw (Night Soldiers, #10) The World at Night (Night Soldiers, #4) Spies of the Balkans (Night Soldiers, #11)

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“It was dawn by the time the detective showed up; tired and weary. Tired because he’d been called from his bed before dawn, weary because he’d spent his life looking at the bad side of human nature and that wasn’t going to change.” 0 likes
“When a diplomat says ‘yes’ he means ‘maybe.’ When a diplomat says ‘maybe’ he means ‘no.’ But if a diplomat says ‘no’ he’s no diplomat.” 0 likes
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