06 February 2020

The Second Midnight | Book Review


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 invades Czechoslovakia, Alfred is given an ultimatum by the Czech Resistance. They will arrange for him to return to England, but only if he leaves his son Hugh behind as collateral.

A young boy stranded in Nazi terrain…
Hugh is soon taken under the wing of a Nazi colonel – Helmuth Scholl. But even though Scholl treats Hugh well, his son, Heinz, is suspicious of this foreigner. And as the war across the continent intensifies, they are set on a path that will ultimately lead towards destruction…

Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: January 28, 2020



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 Midnight had the blurb not led me to expect a certain type of story. Maybe the author’s style of storytelling kept me disengaged for what could have been an exciting story. Or maybe the World War II-drama just is not working for me right now (considering I really did not like A Sister’s Courage a couple weeks ago). I do not know, but whatever the case, this book has not been a bad read for everyone. Check out some better reviews—it could be a good book for you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.


Andrew Taylor is the author of a number of crime novels, including the ground-breaking Roth Trilogy, which was adapted into the acclaimed TV drama Fallen Angel, and the historical crime novels The Ashes of London, The Silent Boy, The Scent of Death and The American Boy, a No.1 Sunday Times bestseller and a 2005 Richard & Judy Book Club Choice.

He has won many awards, including the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger, an Edgar Scroll from the Mystery Writers of America, the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Award (the only author to win it three times) and the CWA’s prestigious Diamond Dagger, awarded for sustained excellence in crime writing. He also writes for the Spectator and The Times.

He lives with his wife Caroline in the Forest of Dean.



  1. Thank you for giving it a shot! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  2. This booklooks like a good mystery.