Midnight in Europe
By Alan Furst
Alan Furst’s latest historical spy novel Midnight in Europe is one you can get lost in. Once you do, you’ll find yourself reluctant or too lazy to find your way back out of it. In the dark and chilly streets of Europe’s cities, spies are desperately trying to further their cause, on both sides. Vintage versions of these cities and trysts fill the pages of this novel, set just before the outbreak of World War II. Unlikely spies, male and female, intermingle as well as utilize dangerous criminals and unsuspecting sympathizers in a nefarious drawn out game of cat and mouse. Midnight in Europe offers those of us who have only ever learned of European history from the states a different and unique perspective on the conflicts and events that occurred during this pivotal time, and what it was like to live through them.
Midnight in Europe is a romantic look back through a vintage era, where life was not as simple as we might have thought it. A meandering story, Furst has created a varied list of characters and meticulously intertwines their lives to provide us with a fun story to read. I very enjoyed being whisked away to the arrondissements of Paris and train rides through the European cities which looked so very different at that time. A masterful writer your mouth will water at the menus, you’ll lust over the champagne and brandies, your stomach sink with every close encounter and heart race at his tasteful descriptions of desire. The clandestine maneuvers and actions that he fabricates throughout the book are inspiring. And the history laid out is so descriptive it makes you feel as though you have lived it, and are fondly or sadly looking back on a memory. The story was constantly ebbing and evolving so that it was entertaining throughout. This would make a great book to take in at the pool or on a trip to the beach this summer. It is one that I would recommend to any lover of spy novels, history, romantic trysts, and all around good books.