Midnight in Europe

Written by Alan Furst

Review written by Amy Myers

Amy Myers is known for her short stories and historical novels featuring Victorian chef Auguste Didier and chimney sweep Tom Wasp. Her contemporary series features classic car detective Jack Colby, and she is currently working on a new 1920s mystery series featuring Nell Drury, chef at Kent’s Wychbourne Court.


Midnight in Europe
Widenfeld&Nicolson
RRP: £18.99
Released: June 12th, 2014
Hbk

In his masterly spy thrillers, Alan Furst has given his readers an inimitable Grand Tour of Europe and Midnight in Europe is no exception. Set in 1937–8, the focus is the Spanish Civil War, its complexities and its ramifications all over Europe.

A low level agent in Madrid disappears; a Spanish emigré, Christián Ferrar, living in Paris and working for the prestigious Coudert Frères law firm, battles with the legal problems arising from the war; and Europe is in turmoil at the fascist threat, particularly in Spain and Germany.

At Coudert, Ferrar is dealing with the disputed ownership of a private Hungarian bank that has legal implications far beyond Hungary when he is called to the Oficina Tecnica, associated with the Spanish Embassy in Paris, which is trying to aid the Spanish Republicans in their fight against fascism but running into problems. Ferrar is introduced to former arms dealer Max de Lyon. What follows then takes Ferrar to the biggest arms producing country in Europe, Czechoslovakia, to a Berlin ominously under Nazi sway, and to Poland. It also brings him into contact with the intriguing Marquesa Maria Cristina.

Alan Furst’s gripping novel is driven by his deceptively straightforward style, which gently piles everyday detail on detail building up little by little until the reader becomes enmeshed in a complex web of international intrigue and machinations right to the very end when Ferrar is forced to face the truth.

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