Silesian Station (John Russell Series #2) by David Downing | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Silesian Station (John Russell Series #2)

Silesian Station (John Russell Series #2)

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by David Downing
     
 

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“Grade: A. . . . Downing’s mingling of history and thrills makes this a must read.”—Rocky Mountain News

“Russell is a canny and likable protagonist.”—BookPage

“Wry, secretive and clever. . . . Russell is good company in this intelligent thriller.”—Hadassah Magazine

Overview

“Grade: A. . . . Downing’s mingling of history and thrills makes this a must read.”—Rocky Mountain News

“Russell is a canny and likable protagonist.”—BookPage

“Wry, secretive and clever. . . . Russell is good company in this intelligent thriller.”—Hadassah Magazine

“Twists and turns aplenty make this espionage novel a superb read full of tension and suspense. . . . An amazing piece of fiction which I hope is part of a much larger series.”—Crimespree Magazine

Summer, 1939. British journalist John Russell has just been granted American citizenship in exchange for agreeing to work for American intelligence when his girlfriend Effi is arrested by the Gestapo. Russell hoped his new nationality would let him safely stay in Berlin with Effi and his son, but now he’s being blackmailed. To free Effi, he must agree to work for the Nazis. They know he has Soviet connections and want him to pass on false intelligence. Russell consents but secretly offers his services to the Soviets instead.

It’s a good plan, but soon things become complicated. A Jewish girl has vanished, and Russell feels compelled to search for her. A woman from his past, a Communist, reappears, insisting he help her reconnect with the Soviets. Meanwhile, Europe lurches toward war, and he must follow the latest stories—to places where American intelligence assignments await him.

David Downing is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction for both adults and children, including Zoo Station, the first novel featuring John Russell. He lives in Guildford, England.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for David Downing
 
"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

"Full of striking inventions."
─Kingsley Amis, author of Lucky Jim
 
"A beautifully crafted and compelling thriller with a heart-stopping ending as John Russell learns the personal faces of good and evil. An unforgettable read."
─Charles Todd, author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge Series
 
"One of the most intelligent and persuasive realizations of Germany immediately before the war."
Wall Street Journal
 
"In the elite company of literary spy masters Alan Furst and Philip Kerr ... [Downing is] brilliant at evoking even the smallest details of wartime Berlin on its last legs."
Washington Post

Downing distinguishes himself by eschewing the easy ways out. He doesn't shy away from portraying the cold brutality of the Third Reich, and his characters are far from stereotypes—they're flawed, confused and real.”
—NPR

Publishers Weekly

In Downing's quiet sequel to Zoo Station , set mostly in Berlin in 1939, British journalist John Russell gets involved in multiple intrigues while working as an amateur spy for the intelligence services of assorted major powers. When Miriam Rosenfeld, a young Jewish woman dispatched from provincial Silesia by her Uncle Thomas, who's Russell's ex-brother-in-law, fails to arrive in Berlin, Thomas asks Russell to help find her. Meanwhile, the Nazis blackmail Russell into passing disinformation to the Soviets by arresting his actress girlfriend, Effi Koenen; he agrees to spy for the Americans in order to get a U.S. passport; and he offers to spy for the Russians if they'll help him leave Europe when the time comes. While these various narrative threads, in particular Rosenfeld's disappearance, do generate suspense, thriller fans should be prepared for a dearth of exciting action scenes. Full of period detail, this novel effectively captures life in the police state of Berlin on the brink of war. (May)

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Kirkus Reviews
An Anglo-American reporter spies for three nations in the last days of Hitler's countdown to war. John Russell, the journalist introduced in Zoo Station (2007), made it safely through one episode of triple jeopardy under the Nazis, and he enlarged his personal safety zone with the acquisition of an American passport on a trip west with his 12-year-old son Paul. At this point, he would be happy to stick to the sad business of reporting Germany's descent into the madness of another war. But the Gestapo have other plans for him. If he ever wants to see his actress girlfriend Effi freed from the prison into which she was thrown on a trumped-up charge, he will have to do the bidding of the secret police, transmitting phony intelligence to the Soviet Union. The Gestapo, of course, have no idea that Russell has brought back a little spy work from America or that his contacts with the Russians are colored by his emotional and intellectual sympathies with the Glorious Workers nation. Nor are they aware that Russell's best friend and former brother-in-law Thomas Schade has enlisted his assistance in tracking down a young Jew, Miriam Rosenfeld. Miriam's family sent her from their little Silesian farm to what they thought would be safety in Berlin with her uncle, Schade's employee. But the uncle never made it to the Silesian Station, and Miriam went off with a stranger. Russell's connections with the Russians, his search for Miriam and his assignments as the correspondent for a San Francisco daily send him to, among other places, Prague, the Rosenfeld farm and the ultra-Nazi stronghold of Breslau. Each task puts him at greater risk, but he has help from the increasingly engaged Effi. A modicum ofperiod tension, but the real pleasure is the close-up view of daily life in the darkening Reich.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781569475737
Publisher:
Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/01/2009
Series:
John Russell Series, #2
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
295,263
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet 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 two previous books featuring John Russell, ZOO STATION and SILESIAN STATION. He lives with his wife, an American acupuncturist, in Guildford, England.

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