Silesian Station (John Russell Series #2)

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Overview

John Russell plays a dangerous spy game on the eve of World War II.

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Silesian Station (John Russell Series #2)

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Overview

John Russell plays a dangerous spy game on the eve of World War II.

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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)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569475737
  • Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2009
  • Series: John Russell Series , #2
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 101,227
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Downing

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

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1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    more a historical tale rather than a suspense thriller

    In 1939, British journalist John Russell hopes to remain in Berlin if war breaks out between his homeland and the Nazis. However, the Gestapo arrests his girlfriend, actress Effi Koenen, accusing her of spying. They use her as a pawn to get Russell to work for them passing misinformation to the Russians. He already has a deal with the Americans to spy for them in exchange for a passport and offers a deal with the Soviet if they help him flee the Nazis if he needs to escape suddenly. --- While he is wheeling and dealing, the parents of Jewish Miriam Rosenfeld worry about the safety of their daughter in Silesia. They send her to live with her Uncle Thomas in Berlin where many more Jews reside safety in numbers being their theory. When she fails to arrive, Thomas visits his former brother-in-law, Russell asking him to find her as the police refuse to look for a Jew. John agrees. --- Though well written and exciting, SILESIAN STATION is more a historical tale rather than a suspense thriller. The espionage segues serve more to bring out life in Nazi Germany¿s police state whereas the search for Miriam is the exhilarating suspenseful subplot. Fans will enjoy the return of Russell (see ZOO STATION) as he navigates life as a journalist covering the Third Reich. --- Harriet Klausner

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    Nice continuation of the series. Downing puts you in the time and place and holds your attention.

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  • Posted October 1, 2013

    One of the best

    This series is a favorite of mine...sympathetic character, believable story well tied to real events, and it moves along at a pace that holds my interest.

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  • Posted September 24, 2013

    very excellent - all six books!

    There is little point in taking one book - they are really segments of one large book. Even so I had to order the next in the series before finishing one. Germany before through and after the second world war from an entirely different perspective.An english journalist with a german ex-wife and a german son. He also has a german girl friend.His struggles not to be deported and all of their struggles to stay alive in the netherworld of Hitlers2000 year Reich.all in all a fascinating read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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