Tag archives for David Downing

reviews

Book Review – Masaryk Station by David Downing

Masaryk Station by David Downing My rating: 4 of 5 stars A very satisfying end to the series, although still leaving me with a wish for a more detailed epilogue that told us more about the rest of the cast's lives. As with the others there is a lot of history being told here, Downing does his research and then puts it on the page. Although one obvious lack was the bit about copying a film where the story goes straight from copying to playback without going through the development process. This is in an era where chemical processing was needed to view pictures on film after they'd been shot. Given the rest of the research I'd have thought that was known to Downing. I did enjoy this though, and there were a number of different angles. Logo of the…
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Book Review – Lehrter Station by David Downing

Lehrter Station by David Downing My rating: 4 of 5 stars With the fifth in the series we're in the immediate post-war period, six months after Berlin fell to the Soviets John & Effi are back. Having escaped to London with the surviving family members John is blackmailed by the Soviets into returning in the guise of a double agent. As with the previous books the real central character is Berlin and its people. The theme is one of devastation, both human and physical. John & Effi both get involved in finding out what happened to people they knew, and the friends of the survivors. It's mainly upbeat, although sprinkled with tragedy as one would expect. The book evokes the chaos following the end of the war very well, and the overturning of tables. The 'victims of fascism' are exalted…
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Book Review – Potsdam Station by David Downing

Potsdam Station by David Downing My rating: 4 of 5 stars We're in the final month of Nazi Germany, with John Russell, Effi Koenen and Russell's son Paul all providing points of view for this tale of the final days of the Third Reich. The family is all scattered and trying their best to survive the carnage. There is real tension in this volume as one cannot be sure that any specific characters will survive. Will there be a happy ending, or will there be tragedy. Effi is living undercover in Berlin helping others as she hides herself. The city is being bombed night and day by the Allies, and the landmarks are disappearing with every raid. Her side of the story continues the series trademark description of Berlin and how it is changing. Her character has really developed over…
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Book Review – Stettin Station by David Downing

Stettin Station by David Downing My rating: 4 of 5 stars In the third of the series the focus widens to also include Effi Koenen, John Russell's film star girlfriend. She's been there in the first two as a strong supporting character, but she really comes into her own in this one. This story starts in the Autumn of 1941 leading up to the entry of the Americans into the war. Having been largely left alone for a couple of years following the outbreak of the war by the Germans and the Soviets Russell has been working as a foreign correspondent for some American papers. On the side he's been doing some investigative reporting on the fate of the Jews he's known. As the entry of the US to the war approaches the journalistic work becomes less worthwhile, only authorised…
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Book Review – Silesian Station by David Downing

Silesian Station by David Downing My rating: 4 of 5 stars Second in the series, and it ends where I expected the first to end. It starts a few weeks on from where the previous book left off. In late July 1939 John Russell is returning to Germany from America by boat with his son. Definitely an interesting read, Downing has clearly done his research well. There is a fantastic period feel to it. Especially the embuggerance around the travelling to and from Poland. The places and the people are very well described, and the latter are well observed and seem real. The danger in the air from unguarded comments is real for these characters, and they are mainly circumspect with strangers. I was also pleased to see how Russell's film star girlfriend develops too. She starts the story¬†with a…
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