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David Downing Books In Order

Publication Order of John Russell Books

Zoo Station (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Silesian Station (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Stettin Station (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Potsdam Station (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lehrter Station (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Masaryk Station (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Jack McColl Books

Jack of Spies (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
One Man's Flag (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lenin's Roller Coaster (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Moscow Option (1979) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Red Eagles (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Sealing Their Fate: 22 Days That Decided the Second World War (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

David Downing is the modern author of nonfiction and mystery novels. His prolific works have been reviewed by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and The Wall Street Journal. He is popularly known for his “convincing” vivid description of Berlin and World War II probably due familiarity and his studies with the subject. He has published a series of spy thrillers based on the Anglo-American John Russell during his exploration in Germany during the 1940’s. These books are popularly referred to as The Station Series only simply because they are named after Germany train stations, mostly based in Berlin. The series conclude publication in June 2013 after 6 books with Masaryk Station.

David Downing subsequently immediately began writing another book series set during and after the World War 1. The first book in the book series was published in September 2013. The author’s contributions in both historical fictional and nonfiction and his studies mainly examine the events that decided the fate of Japan and German toward the end of the war.

The author also wrote a counterfactual history of the World War II, The Moscow Option. Downing also writer under the pen name David Monnery and has written An Atlas of Territorial and Border Disputes. He also contributed to Let It Rock a music magazine and published a comprehensive study of the utopian and Sci-Fi explorations of the future in music, Future Rock, by analyzing the work of David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan and others.

Zoo Station (2007)

The book introduces Russell, half British, a half American journalist living in Germany in the late 1930’s, so as to be close to his 12-year-old son from a failed marriage, and his fiancée, a film actress. He is soon approached by the Soviet intelligence which wants to hire him to write pro-German articles for Pravda, with the intent of promoting détente between the two countries. His writings soon catch the attention of Germany’s SD which see the values of the articles and the British Intelligence which also want the journalist to spy on them. Russell also earns extra money by teaching English lessons to a Jewish family. As each of Russell intelligence patrons begins to enquire for more, he must attempt to do whatever he can and remain loyal to his conscience and most importantly to those he cares about most.

Zoo Station is the first book in John Russell series by David Downing set in Germany before the Second World War. The book paints a suspenseful and a dark picture of a country moving gradually towards War. The main character is John Russell, working as a freelance journalist from England but living in Berlin. He confronts his conscience with the single compromise he makes in covering up for the Nazi regime since his son from a divorced marriage and his lover are Germans, and he wants to live in Germany for them. Russell also gets drawn into passing documents for the British and Soviet Intelligence at the same time, and he is also involved in helping a Jewish family out the Germany.

The first novel is not a Jason Bourne-type action novel with gunfights and daring escapes every few pages, but rather it is a quiet, suspenseful story that builds up towards a shattering conclusion.

Silesian Station

The story begins with a girl being sent to Berlin by her Jewish farm family where they expect things to be much better. The girl arrives at the Silesian Station (currently known as Berlin Ostbahnhof, it served as a central station in East Berlin) where she expects to be picked up by her beloved uncle but instead she is met by someone else, and she disappears.

On the other hand, John Russell is on his way back home from the United States with his son, Paul. While on his return voyage, he receives a telegram informing him that his actress girlfriend, Effie, has been arrested by the Gestapo and he soon realizes that the arrest had been made since they want something from him.

Tom, John’s ex-brother in law reveals to John that a niece to one of his Jewish employees vanished and her uncle murdered by the storm-troopers shortly before she arrived in Berlin. John having written a story about private investigators a year before vows to find one whom might be of help in the search for the girl. Unfortunately, the private detective is shut down by the police, and so John Russell begins his search.

Moreover, so starts another engaging story in this fantastic series, part mystery, part spy novel. Downing choice of a freelance journalist as the lead character is an excellent vehicle for showcasing event surrounding Germany’s invasion of Czechoslovakia and the provocations that lead to the invasion of Poland. Russell keenly observes these events from the ground.

The character in well crafted and their interaction and description help achieve the historical suspense aspect of the book. The lead character John Russell is a useful and resourceful man and manages to prevail at all cost despite the fact that the reward he is to get by serving many masters at the same time would be execution.

The sense of entrapment and the impending doom is a strong aspect of this second book in John Russell Series by David Downing even though Russell dodges, feints, and heroics events eventually eliminate much of that sensation.

Overall the novel is enjoyable enough; there are plenty of period details ranging from the mundane features of the daily life of the occasional brutality of the SA to the overwhelming anti-polish propaganda before the September annexation. Furthermore, you will be moved by characters conversations, for instance between John Russell and his 12-year-old son named Paul, a German citizen. Paul is a member of the Hitler Youth, just like all Aryan boys until his trip to the United States. The tour gives the young boy a new perspective, and during his conversations with his father, he shows an extent of increasing maturity. For John Russell, a veteran of the Great War understands exactly what the Hitler Youth is preparing his son, Paul and his cohorts for and these are difficult discussions.

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