- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Old Street Publishing (15 May 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1906964750
- ISBN-13: 978-1906964757
- Product Dimensions: 15.8 x 2.2 x 23.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 652,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Lehrter Station (John Russell 5) Paperback – 15 May 2012
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'Remarkable ... Downing is one of the brightest lights in the shadowy world of historical spy fiction'
'Excellent ... Downing's strength is his fleshing out of the tense and often dangerous nature of everyday life in a totalitarian state
'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'
'An outstanding thriller . . . This series is a quite remarkable achievement'
Shots magazine --...
About the Author
David Downing grew up in suburban London. He is the author of six books in the John Russell series, Zoo Station, Silesian Station, Stettin Station, Potsdam Station, Lehrter Station, and Masaryk Station, as well as Jack of Spies, One Man's Flag, and The Red Eagles. He lives in Guildford, England --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The historical insight and detail is fascinating and has the ring of painstaking research about it. The superficial plot has Anglo-American journalist and sometime spy John Russell being tasked by the Russians with returning to Berlin to report on German communists and whether they’re likely to be loyal to Moscow in the cold war world that rises from the ashes of the Third Reich.
Yet the notional investigations that Russell performs carry less weight than the vast swathes of names and places which Downing throws at the reader: all the bombed out buildings, the endless lists of missing people, the cafes reduced to rubble, the acquaintances from previous books who must all seeming be accounted for; the unlikely resolution of so many loose ends.
Russell and Effi immediately rile a Nazi-turned-gangster, and must tread carefully amid the politics of the Allies-turned-antagonists, but much of the ‘thriller’ struggles to surface under the weight of detail. The sub-plots about the Jewish avengers, and the secret pipeline into Palestine, are entirely fascinating. But it all seemed to lack a sense of tension, somehow.
By the end of Lehrter Station I knew an enormous amount more about the immediate post-war situation than I had when I started reading it. This was a rare case where I almost drowned in the detail, and found myself longing for Alan Furst’s atmospheric brushstrokes which bring wartime Europe to grimy life in a few simple sentences, without needing chapter and verse for vermilissitude.
I like David Downing's Berlin series. They're gripping adventures set in a dirty world. Now the war is over it's not got any cleaner and our hero, John Russell, finds himself used as a pawn by both the Soviets and the Americans. All he wants to do is survive... like most of the other characters in the novel. This isn't easy when the world is on the brink of collapse. Cigarettes are the only real currency, everything is on ration, gangsters are having a great day, peoples are in flux as they move about Europe - this is true post-apocalyptic stuff when you think about it.
It struck me, as I was reading, that I can't think of many books set in the immediate post-war period in Central Europe.Read more ›
Life in post-war Berlin was difficult enough for the city's residents. So many buildings were damaged, so many people lost in the bombings and war battles and, of course, in the concentration camps. The city was a meeting place for the war's survivors and most people were trying to find loved ones and friends they had lost track of during the war. The city was divided into four parts - American, British, French, and Russian - and while people could move between the parts fairly easily, already the Russian Zone was taking on an ominous tone as restrictions were beginning to be put in place by the occupying Soviets. Russell has returned to do a little spying, a little reporting, and a lot of fence-mending. Effi has returned to act in a new movie, the first to be filmed in post-war Germany. She was also trying to find the father of a young Jewish girl she had sheltered during the war and was hoping to permanently adopt, as well as the daughter of a Jewish couple she had helped during the war. Downing also includes many other characters from the four earlier books.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you like historical fiction based on the post 2nd world war era you'll probably like this.Published 6 months ago by Mr L C Griffiths
Wrong size. Really wanted a normal paper back size. But still highly readablePublished 8 months ago by Mike Mills
Not as good as previous novels in the series. A very good account, though, of life in early post war Europe.Published 11 months ago by pokey
Quite good! I am two thirds of the way through the book and the plot is building. gets the atmosphere of Nazi Germany.Published 12 months ago by P. Metcalf
Excellent plot lines, amazing historical detail and brilliant at creating mind pictures of time and place.Published 13 months ago by by Stephen Marquis.
The devil is in the....there's far too much detail! Don't expect to enjoy it unless you have a card index-style brain. Read morePublished 16 months ago by The man from Marazion