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Richard Zimler

Hunting Midnight

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The second novel in the Sephardic Cycle

At the dawn of the nineteenth century, John Stewart Zarco lives out an inquisitive, naive childhood in his idyllic Porto community. But societal prejudices against his family’s Jewish faith shatter his innocence and even come to threaten his life.

Following the tragic death of his dearest friend, it is only his unlikely bond with Midnight, an African healer and freed slave, that restores a sense of safety. But this fragile, fleeting peace is destroyed when Napoleon’s armies invade Portugal and John suffers another devastating loss – one rooted in unspeakable betrayal and authored by those closest to him. The revelation sets John on course for antebellum America, in what might ultimately prove to be a doomed quest for hope amid unspeakable cruelty and sin.

Rich in historical detail and mysticism, Hunting Midnight is Richard Zimler’s mesmerising tale of deception, guilt, forgiveness and devotion, played out against a backdrop of war, slavery and religious oppression.


‘Zimler’s writing is pacey and accessible without ever patronising the reader. Deeply moving.’ – The Observer

‘A gripping adventure story, which can also be read at deeper levels’ – The Independent

‘I defy anyone to put this book down. It is a wonderful novel; a big, bold-hearted love story that will sweep you up and take you, uncomplaining, on a journey full of heartbreak and light.’ – Nicholas Shakespeare

‘Shocking, colorful and absorbing!’ – Publishers Weekly

‘Zimler is an honest, powerful writer’ – The Guardian


Richard Zimler was born in New York in 1956 and now resides in Porto, Portugal. His twelve novels have been translated into twenty-three languages and have appeared on bestseller lists in twelve different countries, including the United States, the UK, Australia, Brazil, Italy and Portugal. Five of his works have been nominated for the International Dublin Literary Award, the richest prize in the English-speaking world, and he has won several other accolades for his fiction across Europe and North America. The Incandescent Threads is the latest in his Sephardic Cycle, an acclaimed group of independent works that explore the lives of different branches and generations of a Portuguese-Jewish family, the Zarcos.

zimler.com | @RichardZimler