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Lehrter Station (John Russell World War II Spy Thriller #5): A John Russell WWII Thriller [Paperback]

David Downing
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 5 2013 A John Russell WWII Spy Thriller
WWII has ended… But the danger has just begun for a spy caught between political superpowers.

Book 5 in the John Russell historical thriller series.

Paris, November 1945. John Russell is walking home along the banks of the Seine on a cold and misty evening when Soviet agent Yevgeny Shchepkin falls into step alongside him. Shchepkin tells Russell that the American intelligence will soon be asking him to undertake some low grade espionage on their behalf—assessing the strains between different sections of the German Communist Party—and that Shchepkin’s own bosses in Moscow want him to accept the task and pass his findings on to them. He adds that refusal will put Russell’s livelihood and life at risk, but that once he has accepted it, he’ll find himself even further entangled in the Soviet net. It’s a lose-lose situation.

Shchepkin admits that his own survival now depends on his ability to utilize Russell. The only way out for the two of them is to make a deal with the Americans. If they can come up with something the Americans want or need badly enough, then perhaps Russell will be forgiven for handing German atomic secrets over to Moscow and Shchepkin might be offered the sort of sanctuary that also safeguards the lives of his wife and daughter in Moscow. Every decision Russell makes now is a dangerous one.


From the Hardcover edition.

Frequently Bought Together

Lehrter Station (John Russell World War II Spy Thriller #5): A John Russell WWII Thriller + Potsdam Station (John Russell World War II Spy Thriller #4): A John Russell WWII Thriller + Masaryk Station (John Russell World War II Spy Thriller #6)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 33.85


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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 numerous works of fiction and nonfiction for both adults and children, including four novels featuring Anglo-American journalist John Russell and the nonfiction work Sealing Their Fate: The Twenty-Two Days That Decided World War II. He lives with his wife in Guildford, England.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
By S Svendsen TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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5.0 out of 5 stars one of his best 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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2.0 out of 5 stars Lehrter Station Jan. 13 2014
By ASP
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is a disappointment. Billed as "a thriller", nothing "thrilling" has happened after 180 pages. The book does provide a very detailed road map to Berlin, that's about it.
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