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Midnight in Europe (Night Soldiers, #13)
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August 2018: Espionage > Midnight in Europe/Alan Furst/4 Stars

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Jamie Zaccaria | 214 comments 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.

This was a great spy thriller set in the Spanish Civil War with the early rumblings of the rest of WWII across Europe. The characters were great to follow and the author did a good job building the tension of the environment. The last chapter was a bit lackluster but that's just nitpicking. I would definitely read more spy tales from Alan Furst.


message 2: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2504 comments Thanks, Jamie. I’ve never read any by him either


message 3: by Karin (last edited Aug 08, 2018 02:00PM) (new)

Karin | 7202 comments I've read two by him in the past and may be reading something by him. I have a book here, but am probably going to opt for an audiobook as I'm trying to finish the second volume of a 1000+ page novel.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Good review. I've heard of him but for some reason have never read his books. Is this a series or stand alone book?


Jamie Zaccaria | 214 comments I believe it's a series of different standalone stories that are all about various spies. I could be wrong though as I've never read any others. It read like a standalone to me.


message 6: by John (new)

John McKeon I'm an Alan Furst fan and have read (I think) all of his books. Jamie's comment about a lackluster final chapter is valid, I think. But plot isn't really Furst's strong point. He's more about atmosphere and foreboding, which he does really well.

He also presents an almost unbelievable amount of detail about tiny out-of-the-way corners of Eastern Europe, etc. He'll be crossing a river I've never even heard of, and describing the bridge in minute detail. Okay, in the end it doesn't matter whether the bridge is made of granite or sandstone. You're more engaged in whether the hero gets across safely.

Speaking of heroes, many characters repeat and interact in different Furst novels. I particularly like the Parisian film producer Casson, who appears in "The World at Night" and other books. And the Brasserie Heininger is just the place I'd choose for a nightcap after an exhausting day of dodging the Gestapo.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Jamie wrote: "I believe it's a series of different standalone stories that are all about various spies. I could be wrong though as I've never read any others. It read like a standalone to me."

Good to know. I was looking at it and there are so many. This helps to know that each book can be a standalone.


message 8: by Karin (new)

Karin | 7202 comments John wrote: "I'm an Alan Furst fan and have read (I think) all of his books. Jamie's comment about a lackluster final chapter is valid, I think. But plot isn't really Furst's strong point. He's more about atmos..."

I agree about plot not being his strong point for the two novels of his I've read. But there are many other strong things in his books.


message 9: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7875 comments Seeing a lot by this author for this months tag-I have never read him, I will take some of your suggestions John and skim through the next time I am at the library, just to see if I might like him


message 10: by Theresa (new)

Theresa | 7435 comments Great review and I've moved this up on my 'to be read' pile.

If Furst ever comes to a bookstore near you for a reading/signing, make a point of going. He's a very interesting man, talks about his WWII era fascination, research, and 'finding the right voice' for each book he writes. Adds a lot to the experience of reading his books.


Michael (mike999) | 569 comments Am a fan too, John, and nearly a completist with him. I ilke his restraint. No pyrotechnics and quite realistic. The draw for me besides the atmospherics is how his heroes are relatively ordinary people who take up the cause of foiling the Nazis and put their heart into it at great risk.


message 12: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6204 comments Several years ago, I read A Hero of France and it was excellent. I've read others, but I would encourage people interested to read this one.


message 13: by Karin (new)

Karin | 7202 comments I'm now listening the the audiobook of The Spies of Warsaw. I decided the best way I was going to fit this in was on audio because I'm doing so much driving for six weeks.


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