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Lehrter Station: A John Russell WWII Thriller Paperback – Mar 5 2013


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Lehrter Station: A John Russell WWII Thriller + Potsdam Station: A John Russell WWII Thriller + Masaryk Station
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Crime (March 5 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616952202
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616952204
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.7 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Outstanding.... Philip Kerr and Alan Furst fans will be pleased."
Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW


"Downing is a master at work."
—Huffington Post UK

"Powerfully and skillfully written, with constant suspense and sudden surprises of satisfaction, Lehrter Station is one of the vital 2012 books that I'd pack for a desert islandor a beach vacation, or a rainy weekend."
—Kingdom Books

Praise for the John Russell 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

"John Russell has always been in the thick of things in David Downing’s powerful historical novels set largely in Berlin ... Downing provides no platform for debate in this unsentimental novel, leaving his hero to ponder the ethics of his pragmatic choices while surveying the ground level horrors to be seen in Berlin.”
The New York Times Book Review

“Reminiscent of Woody Allen’s Zelig, Russell, the hero of Downing’s espionage series, can’t seem to resist inserting himself into climactic moments of the 20th century ... Downing has been classed in the elite company of literary spy masters Alan Furst and Philip Kerr ... that flattering comparison is generally justified. If Downing is light on character study, he’s brilliant at evoking even the smallest details of wartime Berlin on its last legs.... Given the limited cast of characters, Downing must draw on almost Dickensian reserves of coincidences and close calls to sustain the suspense of his basic hide-and-seek story line. That he does ingeniously. It helps to read Downing’s novels in order, but if Potsdam Station is your first foray into Russell’s escapades, be forewarned that you may soon feel compelled to undertake a literary reconnaissance mission to retrieve and read the earlier books.”
Washington Post

“The echo of the Allied bombings and the crash of the boots of the invading Russians permeate the pages in which David Downing vividly does justice to the drama... The book is a reminder of what happened and those who allowed it to happen...The book lives up to the others in the Russell series, serving as yet one more reminder of a world too many have entirely forgotten.”
Washington Times

“Downing is brilliant at weaving history and fiction, and this plot, with its twists and turns—all under the terrible bombardment of Berlin and the Third Reich’s death throes—is as suspenseful as they come. The end, with another twist, is equally clever and unexpected.”
Toronto Globe and Mail




From the Hardcover edition.

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

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This 5th of Downing’s ‘Station’ WWII crime/thriller/spy series, follows closely the events of the 4th book, Potsdam Station. The time period is June to December 1945. The allies have divided Berlin, Germany, Vienna and Austria into four areas of control. The western and eastern borders of Poland have been shifted, dislocating Germans and Poles. Jews find themselves unwanted and unwelcome in most countries; their exodus to Palestine, with the hope to found a Zionist state, has started. Black-market profiteers—many of them former Nazi operatives—are aided by unscrupulous members of the American and British ‘liberators.’ Berlin is a mass of ruins and rubble. Millions of people have nowhere to live, suffer from famine and little or no health care or emergency aid. Police protection is virtually non-existent and where it exists it operates to give advantage to the ‘liberating’ authorities. Rivalries between political factions abound.

John Russell and his long time girlfriend, Effi Koenen, have found refuge in London. John’s son Paul and Effi’s sister Zarah and her son Lothar are with them. Rosa, a displaced Jewish girl with no mother and a lost father, who had been taken care of by Effi, is also with them. Effi through the collaboration of the British, Russians and, reluctantly, the Americans, make way for her to have the major role in a new movie being filmed in Berlin. Russell finds himself indebted to the Russians for having helped him to escape from Berlin at the end of the war. So the course is soon laid out for him to once again become a double agent for the Russians and Americans. Thus he and Effi both return to Berlin.

I think Downing’s research provides this book with considerable credibility about the post-war environment in Berlin and on the European continent.
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By Jill Meyer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 11 2012
Format: Hardcover
David Downing's new novel, "Lerter Station", is the fifth book in his John Russell series. Begun in pre-war Berlin and continuing through the war, Downing now takes his characters in this book from London to Berlin in the fall of 1945. Russell and his girl-friend, actress Effi Koenen, return to the war-ruined city in a somewhat convoluted plot involving Soviet spies. Most plots dealing with spies in these books - Downing's, Philip Kerr's, Alan Furst's - usually have the spies double, tripling, hell, even quadruple, spying. Frankly, I got confused dealing with the who/what/why of the spying in Downing's book. So I tended to concentrate on the other parts of the story, which were far more interesting.

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.
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By J Morton on March 8 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This really caps off the series. Ties up the loose ends and makes sense of much of early post war Europe. A good read.
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