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Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not gripping enough, 19 April 2012
This review is from: Zoo Station (John Russell 1) (Paperback)
What saves this is the quality of the writing. If "readable" is not too much of a put-down then this is it. The narrative flows along.

I do feel, however, that John Russell doesn't have a bad enough time of it! Alone In Berlin by Hans Fallada, for instance, gives a far more chilling portrait of life under the bullies because the main players are ordinary working people scared for their lives. You fear what's coming round every corner.

Russell is blessed with a filmstar girlfriend, a pass from the SD to swan around the country and the knowledge that with his UK and US connections, he could probably wangle out of trouble if need be. I'm not entirely convinced at the way he coped at the end either.

Some have compared Russell with Bernie Gunther. Not for me. The Gunther novels are camp. He's a Marlowesque figure. Downing's hero operates more in the real world but it needs to be crueller.
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