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Masaryk Station (John Russell series Book 6)

Masaryk Station (John Russell series Book 6) [Kindle Edition]

David Downing
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'In the elite company of literary spy masters Alan Furst and Philip Kerr'
Washington Post

'A superb sequence of spy novels comes to an end . . . Like its predecessors, Masaryk Station offers tight, intelligent plots full of moral ambiguities and a cast of shadowy characters for whom deception is as natural as breathing. The clammy atmosphere of espionage is wonderfully conveyed.'
Marcel Berlins in The Times

'The author not only creates intrigue but, over the course of six engrossing novels chronicles the shifting conscience of his main character. His descriptions ring true, not only in moments of crisis and action but of the quotidian days between: prewar negotiations, threats and reprieves, false alarms, dashed hopes, everyday pleasures, encroaching dread . . . Almost epic in scope, Downing's "Station" cycle creates a fictional universe rich with a historian's expertise but rendered with literary style and heart.'

'Remarkable ... Downing is one of the brightest lights in the shadowy world of historical spy fiction'
Birmingham Post

'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 on Masaryk Station

'Excellent ... Downing's strength is his fleshing out of the tense and often dangerous nature of everyday life in a totalitarian state
The Times

'An extraordinary evocation of Nazi Germany'
C.J. SANSOM on Zoo Station

'Stands with Alan Furst for detail and atmosphere'

Publishers Weekly on Lehrter Station

'Think Robert Harris and Fatherland mixed with a dash of Le Carré
Sue Baker, Publishing News

'A wonderfully drawn spy novel . . . A very auspicious debut, with more to come'
The Bookseller on Zoo Station

'Exciting and frightening all at once . . . It's got everything going for it'
Julie Walters

'An outstanding thriller . . . This series is a quite remarkable achievement'
Shots magazine --...

Product Description

THE HEART-STOPPING FINAL INSTALMENT OF THE BESTSELLING STATION SERIES Europe, 1948. The continent is once again divided: into the Soviet-controlled East, and the US-dominated West. John Russell and his old comrade-in-espionage Shchepkin need to find a way out of the dangerous, morally murky world they have both inhabited for far too long. But they can’t just walk away: if they want to escape with their lives, they must uncover a secret so damaging that they can buy their safety with silence. In this dazzling conclusion to the series, Downing ratchets up the suspense with a superb plot involving psychopathic mass murderers, a snuff movie that leads to the highest ranks of Soviet power, and Russell and his girlfriend Effi’s last-ditch attempt to gain freedom.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 514 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Old Street Publishing (25 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,668 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living through desperate times 21 May 2013
By Christopher H TOP 1000 REVIEWER
With the final installment in the John Russell series of novels, David Downing now takes his characters to the first crisis of the Cold War with the Berlin Airlift. Loose ends left from the previous book are tied up, sorting out what will happen to characters and relationships; and along the way the author subtly uses what is occurring politically in Yugoslavia, and in Czechoslovakia, to present the two main options facing East Germany as Stalin cracks down on countries he has occupied. Of course, there is a mystery to solve, too - a puzzling suicide - but it isn't forced. People get on with everyday living.

If John Russell is often away on work in Trieste, Prague and other locations, his wife Effi Koenen is back in Berlin, and it is through her that we watch the Russians clamp down on the capital, inch by inch trying to isolate the city and cut it off. In this Russell's old friend Gerhard Strohm gives the view from inside the German communist party, showing how members are manipulated/coerced by Moscow into doing things they fundamentally disagree with. Strohm is incredulous to discover that forced Labor Camps are being set up within East Germany, and through him we see the impact that Koestler's then fresh novel Darkness at Noon had on German communists as Russian oppression set in. In subtle ways Effi and Gerhard characterise Berliners who can see repression creeping up, and just don't know what to do to prevent the rise of a new police state.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A reasonable end to an excellent series. 30 Aug. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the last in the "Station" series and I'm already thinking that I've been a bit harsh in only giving it three stars but I'm sticking to it for a number of small reasons that I shall explain later.
In "Lehrter Station" David Downing painted a superb picture of post-War Berlin; a grubby world of mixed morals, the fit child of the Nazi War. In "Masaryk Station" the world of 1948 feels perhaps a little less grubby but more uncertain because of the political game the Soviets are playing. It was interesting reading about a Berlin where the divisions of the times to come did not exist and which were unimaginable. People seem to move around between zones with perfect freedom but also with an understanding of the undertones that exist in Soviet behaviour. Abroad (because that's where a lot of the action in the first half of the book takes place) it is the Americans who are playing a duplicitous game just as they did in "Lehrter Station". They have allied themselves with former Nazi supporters in what they know will be the coming conflict with the Soviets. They play a quiet role in supporting the number of escape routs that have been set up for Ukrainian Nazi-supporting nationalists, bloodthirsty Croat racists and for Soviet defectors. Our hero, John Russell is in the middle of both these worlds and thus has no illusions about either party. His hands feel filthy and he would love to get out.
Then along comes an opportunity. Something has turned up that might just provide Russell and his family with a get-out-of-jail-free ticket...
On the whole this was a good read marred only by the terrible grammatical errors that appear to have been thrown into the publication like spanners intended to ruin my day.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shame it's the last in the series 12 Jun. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Up there with the rest of the series, and I'll be sad to see the last of John and Effi. Maybe if we put enough pressure on Mr Downing, he will do another, after all, the ending gave me the impression that it's at least a possibility. Or maybe that's just wisful thinking on my part.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The End 24 Nov. 2013
With this, the sixth novel in the John Russell series, David Downing brings to a finale the chronicle covering the years between the World Wars, those following the collapse of Nazi Germany. It has been quite a journey, with Russell having served as a double agent for both the Soviets and Americans, certainly as dangerous as an existence can be. Each of the novels reflected the times and the clashes of the ideological differences between the two countries.

In the final book, the story of a divided Germany and Berlin is recounted, ending with the seeds that were sown in the fall of the Soviet Empire. At the same time, the personal conflicts that beset Russell and others who at first embraced and then questioned socialism are explored and analyzed.

Each entry in the series was well-crafted to not only tell a gripping story of our times, but to call to mind the era as portrayed by real-life characters. It has been an excellently told saga. (It is unfortunate that the latest volume suffers from poor production, editing and proofreading, riddled with typographical and grammatical errors.) Next spring, we are promised a new series by the author moving back in time to World War I.

My parenthetical criticism notwithstanding, the novel is recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Evocative Spy Novel
Another brilliant novel in this excellent series. Set mainly in Berlin and Prague, in the uneasy peace following the 2nd world war, John Russell now working as a double agent for... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant book and a great read also came very quick thank you ******
Published 13 days ago by Mr. S. Lombardo
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
An old fashioned but engaging spy story set in post-war Berlin. Interesting from a historical viewpoint too.
Published 20 days ago by Walter K.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Simply a great ending to a surprise of books.......
Published 24 days ago by martin francis
5.0 out of 5 stars End of the line?
The last of the John Russell tales, still on the edge of danger. This time it moves into Cold War territory as Russell travels between Prague, Berlin and the Balkans. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Gareth Lukey
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC
A five star read all through the Station series. A peek at real life under Hitler. It was horrific!
Published 27 days ago by John Powell
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story. Well written
Good story. Well written. The descriptions of each character is well defined and imprinted into one's memory as the plot unfolds.
Published 1 month ago by Stewart Christie
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A bit drawn out but a good story that some how holds your interest
Published 1 month ago by Peter Benstead
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed all the
The last book in the series. Enjoyed all the books
Published 1 month ago by Gary936
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 1 month ago by Gavin Holmes
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