The Second Midnight
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As war looms in Europe, Hugh Kendall is a troubled young boy. When his hated father offers him the chance to visit Prague, however, Hugh feels that this may be a turning point in their relationship. Hugh could hardly have been more mistaken. His father had taken him as cover for his minor mission on behalf of the Intelligence Services, and has no second thoughts when he has to leave Hugh in the hands of the growing Czech Communist Resistance to allow him to return to England. Hugh is left without a family, without a home, and has to remake his life in a country which has just been over-run by the Nazis and where he does not even speak the language.
But Hugh begins to find himself, especially when he is taken under the wing of a Wehrmacht colonel, Helmut Scholl - a 'good' Nazi - and discovers the joys of friendship with Scholl's daughter Magda. Hugh's alien status as foreigner and potential enemy, however, is never forgotten by Scholl's son Heinz, who mistrusts and dislikes Hugh, feelings which are intensified to hatred when Colonel Scholl is killed shortly before the end of the war. As a shattered Europe edges towards an uneasy peace and an intensifying Cold War, Hugh and Magda are separated without any obvious hope of ever finding each other, and Hugh and Heinz are set on a course that will bring them into ultimate confrontation.
"Taylor is a highly entertaining, crisp and clean writer..." Publisher's Weekly. First-class adventure" Irish Times.
Andrew Taylor's 30-plus novels include the bestseller, The American Boy, chosen by The Times as one of the top ten crime novels of the decade; the Roth Trilogy (filmed for TV as Fallen Angel); the Lydmouth Series; Bleeding Heart Square; The Anatomy of Ghosts, shortlisted for Theakston's best crime novel of the year; and The Scent of Death (February 2013).
His most recent awards are the CWA Diamond Dagger and Sweden's Martin Beck Award. He is The Spectator's crime fiction reviewer. Further information: www.andrew-taylor.co.uk and on twitter @andrewjrtaylor.