Stettin Station Paperback – 11 Jan 2011
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|Paperback, 11 Jan 2011||
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'An extraordinary evocation of Nazi Germany'
'A remarkable achievement . . . David 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'
'Stands with Alan Furst for detail and atmosphere'
Donald James, author of Monstrum
'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 --...
About the Author
David Downing is the author of numerous works of fiction and non-fiction. The first 'John Russell and Effi Koenen' novel, Zoo Station, was published in 2007 and became a word-of-mouth bestseller. It was followed by Silesian Station in 2008, Stettin Station in 2009 and Potsdam Station in 2010. David lives in Surrey with his wife and two cats.
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Top Customer Reviews
This must have been a challenge to write. Downing has to orchestrate his characters, bringing Russell back from the US and his son back from Russia. The latter is simple--he retreats; the former is more complex and while plausible, it ratchets up the plot to a higher level of physical action than the series has seen before.
I thought I had seen and read enough about Berlin in 1945 to get a sense of time and place, but this account takes the challenge of survival to a whole new level. The noise, smells and sights are piled on, almost to breaking point--as indeed they were for the German population, waiting either to vanquish their enemies at the last moment, or instead to die.
By the last third of the book, I was virtually unable to read ahead or put the book down--the tension was almost too much. It seemed impossible that the characters could survive the SS, the Red Army or the USAF bombs (and of course in reality many did not]. As the Thousand Year Reich shrank to a city, then a few districts, the characters are aligned, find each other, lose each other and .....well, you need to read it yourself!
I can't say this was a fun summer read. It stepped well beyond the minimal action of Alan Furst and Phillip Kerr and offered up a true inferno of intense experience. It would be a shame if David Downing now abandoned these people after investing so much in them; just as Bernard Gunther has become more interesting after 1945, I hope we get to see what happens to this cast in the post-war world.
It is now late 1941 and America is on the verge of entering the War. John Russell, American passport holder, journalist and sometime spy-of-sorts, clings onto life in Berlin because of his actress girlfriend and his son. It is an increasingly desperate Berlin which Downing evokes. It is dark, it smells, it is subjected to not-very-effective night time bombing raids from the RAF. We know, of course, that things will get much worse for the German capital, and the fate of those Russell leaves behind when he escapes at the end of the book is something we cannot predict. Perhaps there is more to come in the series, although as an American citizen Russell would be an enemy of Germany's from here on in and it will tax even the imagination of this excellent writer to find a way of returning his chief protagonist to Hitler's Germany.
Once again Downing rights with his usual flashes of wry and often bitter humour as he describes life in Nazi Germany, on the verge of its long and awful slide to annihilation. It is splendidly detailed - the description of human waste emanating from a train carrying Russian prisoners is one example - and it leaves with a clear idea of what everyday life was like in the hellhole of 1941 Berlin.
Russell's dawning realization of what the Nazis have in mind for Europe's Jews horrifies us even though it is nothing we don't already know.Read more ›
Russell is an English journalist, with an American passport, working in Nazi Berlin in order stay with his actress girlfriend and close to his half German son. He is an ex-communist who hates the Nazi party for what they have done to the Berlin that he loves.
This book os set in the few weeks leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and follows Russell as he tries to find out what is happening to the city's disappearing Jewish population. This leads him and his girlfriend into danger.
At the same time he is being used as a pawn by the US intelligence services and the Abwehr and SD. He has to stay one step ahead of everyone while trying to find a way to protect his loved ones from the Nazis and a way to stay close to them if America comes into the war.
This is full of atmosphere. You can feel wartime Berlin asyou read every page. The conflict between Nazi propaganda and the experience of everyday Germans. There is the way that the news is massaged to hide what is starting to happen in Russia as the army surrounds Moscow. You feel that victory is a short step away, even though you already know the result.
The story flows quickly and there is danger at almost every turn. Russell is hunted after a mission to Prague for the Abwehr is found to be a ruse by the SD to find a conspiracy in the Abwehr's ranks.
The end is a little contrived and makes you wonder how the series can continue, maybe it'll move onto the war's end and Germany's demise next but you never feel let down or cheated.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
atmospheric, evocative and very well written - love his booksPublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent series. Knowing Berlin certainly helps too. I just finished book 4 and am now looking forward to reading the last two.Published 7 months ago by bravo 1
Fabulous fabulous fabulous. The whole series is not put down able.Published 7 months ago by Frances Harvey
Another good book, with a great feel for daily life and the relevance of supposedly mundane events. A real sense of place and people.Published 8 months ago by It's me here!