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Stettin Station (A John Russell WWII Spy Thriller) Hardcover – May 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Fans of the intelligent WWII thrillers of Alan Furst and Philip Kerr should enjoy Downing's atmospheric and tension-filled third novel featuring Anglo-American journalist John Russell (after Silesian Station). By November 1941, Russell has decided that he and his German actress girlfriend, Effi Koenen, need to leave Berlin while they still can, but given Koenen's high public profile, he must find an illegal way to do so. His planning coincides with the escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Japan as well as growing evidence that the Nazis have begun carrying out the Final Solution with the forced transport of Berlin's Jewish community. Russell's complicated life, which includes serving as a courier for the Wehrmacht intelligence service, makes him an obvious candidate for extra scrutiny by the Gestapo, a further obstacle to escaping Germany. With strong, vivid prose, the author maintains a high level of suspense throughout, and makes the reader care about his leads. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Praise for Stettin Station
“As complex and clever as the best of Kerr and Kanon, and it has spies for added style ... A tightly constructed novel with a complex plot set in a world that is on the verge of a terrible madness. Downing captures all of that and a bit more, with a touch of old-fashioned romance that really does call out for Bergman and Bogart.”
—Globe & Mail
“Downing distinguishes himself by eschewing the easy ways out. He doesn't shy away from portraying the cold brutality of the Third Reich, and his characters are far from stereotypes—they're flawed, confused and real.”
—Michael Schaub, NPR
“[Downing] is at his best with setting and historical detail, and this novel does not disappoint. His sharply drawn descriptions of daily life within the beleaguered Nazi capital ring true, as do the characters that inhabit it. His sense of place is outstanding.”
—Historical Novels Review
“Fans of the intelligent WWII thrillers of Alan Furst and Philip Kerr should enjoy Downing’s atmospheric and tension-filled third novel featuring Anglo-American journalist John Russell . . . With strong vivid prose, the author maintains a high level of suspense throughout, and makes the reader care about his leads.”
“It is a tale of terror with a thrill-a-page pace.”
“Downing's novels are a glimpse at the human side of the war . . . I highly recommend Stettin Station.”
Praise for David Downing's John Russell World War II Spy Thriller series
"Epic in scope, Mr. Downing's "Station" cycle creates a fictional universe rich with a historian's expertise but rendered with literary style and heart."
—The Wall Street Journal
“A beautifully crafted and compelling thriller with a heart-stopping ending . . . An unforgettable read.”
—Charles Todd, author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge Series
"Downing's outstanding evocation of the times (as masterly as that found in Alan Furst's novels or Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series), thematic complexity (as rich as that of John le Carré), and the wide assortment of fully rendered characters provide as much or more pleasure than the plot, where disparate threads are tied together in satisfying and unexpected ways."
—Library Journal, Starred Review
“Downing is brilliant at weaving history and fiction . . . equally clever and unexpected.”
—Toronto Globe and Mail
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
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to generate a climate of fear in a modern civilized society which was present all through the book.
I chose this book out of an interest in WW2 events.
John Russell is American journalist posted in Berlin He has livd there for 20 years and speaks the language
fluently. He reports for the new York Herald Tribune.
The time is late 1941. The Wehrmacht is bogged at the gates of Moscow by the Russian
winter and rhe US is still neutral.
Because of the worsening situation John Russell is anxious to leave Germany but he wants to take
his beloved Effie with him. Effie is a star in many propoganda films and is considered to be a national
treasure. The Nazis would never let her go. Their only hope is to escape the tightly sealed border.
That hope is a promise by the Russians to help them escape; but first John Russell must do
I This book might appeal to readers with a military background.
espionage work for them. With the Gestapo constantly supicious of his every movement, there is tense atmorsphere
through the book.
I plan to order more books by this writer.
I'll let you know when I finish the next book!
However, the plot is slightly confused, and at times undeveloped. The confusion might reflect an accurate expression of the times, however, none of the characters really had enough depth. The book touches on the various ambiguities of the times, but is a bit of a lightweight . None the less, It is a good read, and will continue with the other books of the series.
Good read for someone interested in this era and noir type fiction. Definitely not an Alan Furst for either writing or character development
Most recent customer reviews
I have been to Berlin, Warsaw and Prague so I can visualize the areas described in the books.