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The Second Midnight

(Blaines #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  118 ratings  ·  17 reviews
From the international bestselling author comes a World War Two tale of one boy’s fight for survival in Nazi Europe
A secret mission…
1939. As Europe teeters on the brink of war, Alfred Kendall is tasked with carrying out a minor mission for the British Intelligence Service. Travelling to Prague, he takes his troubled young son, Hugh, as cover.

A terrible choice…
When Hitler
Paperback, 400 pages
Published January 28th 2020 by HarperCollins (first published October 1st 1987)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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I really enjoyed this World War II / Historical Fiction read that deals with a father son relationship, espionage, allegiances, and relationships. This book was originally published in 1987 and reissued on Jan 28, 2020, and is a part of a trilogy, but is essentially a standalone.

In ‘The Second Midnight’, it tells the story of a young boy, Hugh Kendall who is in a fractured relationship with his father, Captain Kendall, who works with the British Intelligence. The book is set in the midst of the
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

Hugh is the failing son of an envoy. When the envoy is given an important mission after Hitler invades Czechoslovakia, he has to take Hugh with him. Hugh catches the eye of a Nazi Colonel and the Colonel's daughter.

Not too bad, but My attention wandered.
A dark historical novel that begins with an arrogant Englishman going to Prague on a minor mission, accompanied by his son, just prior to WWII. When things get unexpectedly dangerous, he flees, leaving his adolescent son as a hostage. Unbelievably, Hugh survives, taken in as the gardener's assistant in a Nazi home, where he falls in love with the daughter of the family. Surrounded by danger and secrets, can their relationship survive?

Here is a link to my review:
Hallie Szott
The blurb for Andrew Taylor’s The Second Midnight promises a thrilling story of war and survival. When I read it, however, I got an awkwardly paced story lacking any true thrill. I felt incredibly bored as I waited for Hugh to actually get to Czechoslovakia. Then, when he is left behind, Taylor shares a few more (boring) scenes, fast-forwards through the next few years, and suddenly, it is time for Hugh to go back to England—with half of the book still left!

Maybe I would have enjoyed The Second
Jody Joy
The Second Midnight did not hold my attention whatsoever, very slow-moving in some parts of the story. I won this in a Goodreads giveaway, so I have never read anything by this author. I was not impressed with his writing style at all.
Jo-anne Atkinson
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alfred Kendall is asked by the Secret Services to carry out a small mission in pre-War Prague. He takes his son Hugh along but is forced to abandon him when war is declared. Hugh is stranded in a hostile country but his papers and knack for languages enable him to survive, eventually working for a German officer. The Officer's son doesn't trust Hugh and many years later, after the war this leads to further tragedy.
I found this a very interesting tale both in terms of content and also in terms of
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won a copy of The Second Midnight (Blaine’s #1) by Andrew Taylor in a goodread’s giveaway. This was the first book I have read by Andrew Taylor. Initially, I was drawn to this book because it took place during World War II and I enjoy reading about that time in history. Once I began reading The Second Midnight it became evident that it was a very well written book with lots of depth. It was full of episodes of spying and espionage that led to reveal relationships, allegiances and even innocent ...more
Kirsty Darbyshire
Dec 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperback

This tale of Andrew Taylor's hasn't yet been reissued like other of his earlier works. I tracked down a secondhand copy to give it a try. I can see why it hasn't made a reissue as it's not as mystery based as his other work. I enjoyed it all the same.

Hugh is a young teenager in London, somewhere before the start of the second world war and he's just been expelled from school. His bullying father is recruited to do some kind of Secret Service mission to Prague and ends up taking Hugh with him.

Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
A thrilling story set from the beginning of the second world war through to the cold war. It follows, among other characters, the life of Hugh Kendall, a young boy abandoned in Prague in rather bizarre circumstances.
It is a multi-layered story with the characters' lives intertwining and colliding. It is a spy story, a war story, an interesting history lesson and a story of families, fathers and sons.
As with all Andrew Taylor's books it is immensely well written. Characters are well drawn, some
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Hugh Kendall is a young boy in England, 1939. Hugh is seen as a burden by his father and after Hugh is kicked out of school, Hugh's father is offered a mission through the British Intelligence Service. Alfred Kendall or Captain Kendall, as he prefers to be called is sent to Prague on a simple exchange mission and takes Hugh as a cover. While in Prague, Hitler invades and Hugh is left behind. Hugh is taken in by one of the Resistance contacts and is given a new identity as Rudi. Hugh is eager to ...more
Sandra Danby
Jan 10, 2020 rated it liked it
In ‘The Second Midnight’, Andrew Taylor unpicks the connections between a group of people – a dysfunctional family, spies, ordinary people – before, during and after World War Two in England and Czechoslovakia. Essentially it is a novel of relationships wrapped up in the parcel of wartime spying, lies and romance. In its scope it reminds me of Robert Goddard’s Wide World trilogy, except Taylor covers the subject in one book rather than three.
It is 1939 and twelve year old Hugh Kendall is
Feb 20, 2020 rated it liked it
The Kendell family is a typical family in pre-WWII England. Alfred Kendall is struggling to keep his family business of importing glass afloat through the tough economic times. When he is given the opportunity by the British government to go on a minor mission to Czechoslovakia, he jumps at the change to serve his country and to also hopefully earn some much-needed money. Intelligence tells him to take his young son Hugh with him for cover. After Hitler invades, Alfred has to make a choice. The ...more
Keith Currie
Lost in Prague

An incompetent businessman is recruited by British Intelligence to make a delivery in Prague immediately before the German invasion in 1938. Because he cannot get a babysitter, he takes his twelve year old son with him. Upon the German takeover, the father is spirited out of the country, but the son is left behind. How is he to survive? Cue an adventure tale, full of twists and turns, culminating in the 1950s in a shoot out in cold war London.

The novel has a Dickensian, episodic
Feb 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Enjoyed the storyline of Hugh who is left behind in Prague by his British father right at the time of Hitlers rise and that of the Russians. He finally ends up in the employ of a decent German and falls in love with the daughter. He needs to get out of the German empire with the help of the German Colonel who is killed in the process, thus setting into motion events coming under the scope of the secret agencies of England, Germany and the Communists.
Greville Waterman
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written, interesting, a good if slightly confusing plot but it engaged me although it was sometimes a bit hard ti keep on top of what was gong on.

Sort of an Alan Furst-lite book but well worth the read.
Lourdes Venard
Jan 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Young Hugh Kendall is left stranded in Prague by his father, who was asked to serve as a courier for an English intelligence agency. The father, a pretty despicable person, had promised to return, but Prague has been taken over by the Nazis and he makes no effort to do so when told by the agency he can't return. This is the story of Hugh, and what he does to survive, as well as the story of Michael, an intelligence officer who feels badly for the Kendalls. This is part of a trilogy, but in ...more
Lewis Weinstein
There were some decent parts in this story, mainly when Hugh was in the scene to provide focus and emotion. When he was absent, the story was way too confusing. The elements of a good novel were there but the pieces were not well assembled.
Gail Yeats
rated it it was amazing
Nov 23, 2019
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Chris Butterworth
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Richard Hudson
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Dec 18, 2018
Martin Kenrick
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Jul 29, 2016
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Andrew Taylor (b. 1951) is a British author of mysteries. Born in East Anglia, he attended university at Cambridge before getting an MA in library sciences from University College London. His first novel, Caroline Miniscule (1982), a modern-day treasure hunt starring history student William Dougal, began an eight-book series and won Taylor wide critical acclaim. He has written several other ...more

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