Book Review – Zoo Station by David Downing
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the first book that I have read entirely in 2015.
Amazon had the whole series as a deal of the day for 99p each. I’d had this one, the first in the series, for a little while so I dipped in to see if the rest were worth buying. I got hooked and spent a fiver!
I bought this one as an amazon recommendation. I’ve been buying first hand accounts and histories of the SOE for decades. I picked up the pace a bit a year ago when doing background reading for the short story Hunting Nazis which I used for the end of module on A215. I also read cold war spy fiction too. So amazon recommended me Downing’s series. The link is fairly obvious.
This is about an Anglo American journalist living in Berlin in 1939 where his German ex wife and kid live too. He has a girlfriend too. The book starts on 31 Dec 1938 just as things are darkening. The story is as much commentary on how the war comes and why ordinary people didn’t protest as it is about how John Russell is drawn into working for various intelligence agencies.
The story is paced very well and has that car crash quality about it. You know everything is going to hell but you want to keep on reading to find out how. I hadn’t expected a number of the twists in the story and I did wonder if it was going to end with him in jail, I knew it couldn’t be worse because there were five more books.
This was very enjoyable and I finished it in a few days. It sneaked in ahead of some other books in the reading order, although I’m resisting the next one until I’ve managed a couple of paper books, per my 2015 resolution.