Lehrter Station (John Russell, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Lehrter Station (John Russell #5)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  478 ratings  ·  63 reviews
WWII has ended… But the danger has just begun for a spy caught between political superpowers.

Book 5 in the John Russell historical thriller series.

Paris, November 1945. John Russell is walking home along the banks of the Seine on a cold and misty evening when Soviet agent Yevgeny Shchepkin falls into step alongside him. Shchepkin tells Russell that the American intelligenc...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 8th 2012 by Soho Crime (first published January 1st 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Lehrter Station, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Lehrter Station

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 828)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Sue
This one was tough. The book was definitely not the page turning read the others were, but somehow at the end I felt it was necessary more than enjoyable. It wrapped up several story lines that you might not even remember, but there was closure for all the characters John and Effie crossed in their paths. The problem was, that's really all it was, so it didn't flow like the other books did.

The only other problem with the book wasn't Downing's fault at all. The world is ugly, and full of distast...more
DR
The fifth “John Russell” novel picks up roughly six months after the end of POTSDAM STATION. Back in Berlin after escaping the final conflagration of the Third Reich, journalist John Russell once again is a reluctant spy whose allegiances would seem mixed—the Soviets, Americans, British and Germans all have a claim on him—except that his only true commitment is to his girlfriend Effi, his son & extended family. (My kind of guy!) Post-war Berlin is divided not just into zones held by the war’...more
Mark

When I spotted this at the library, I couldn't resist -- the latest in a series I fell in love with last year, about journalist/spy John Russell, living in Berlin before and after WWII.

In this book, the Nazis have been defeated, Berlin is a surreal landscape of rubble and occupying armies, and Russell and his girlfriend Effi have returned from exile in London, because the Soviets have their hooks into him for work he did for them previously, and they want him back in the city for work as a doubl...more
Gloria Feit
Five months after the fall of Berlin, this chronicle of the adventures of John Russell, the Anglo-American journalist, and his paramour, Efffi Koene, the actress, continues. Four previous “Station” novels carried them through the pre-war years in Berlin to Russell’s escape to England. Now, his former Russian spymaster sort of blackmails him into returning to Berlin as a spy for both the Reds and the Americans. To sugarcoat the request, Effi is offered a starring role in a soon-to-be-made motion...more
Robert Ronsson
Like other reviewers I found this book hard to follow because Downing re-introduces so many characters from previous books and seems intent on sealing their fates one way or the other. It gives the impression that he's 'clearing the decks' in preparation for a metamorphosis of the series as we move from WWII into the Cold War.
There are hints of this when Russell is warned by his Russian 'controller' to ensure that his American 'controller' (yes, we're in double-agent territory) doesn't share inf...more
Lisa
I am on a semi-constant quest for literate, historically accurate World War II espionage novels, a la Alan Furst. They are devilishly difficult to find. Thus, I was excited to discover David Downing. I seem to have started the series with the most recent book, but I'm hooked and am looking forward to going back to the first one and reading them in order.

Downing's hero, John Russell, is a British reporter with American citizenship. This novel starts in London, but most of it takes place in immedi...more
Lynne
I have always enjoyed this series of novels but as the setting moves into the post-war period, I wonder if there is a sense that the characters thoughts reflect a modern interpretation rather than a contemporary perspective.
Stein
*** Chaotic conditions in Berlin defines the aftermath of WWII ***

This 5th of Downing’s ‘Station’ WWII crime/thriller/spy series, follows closely the events of the 4th book, Potsdam Station. The time period is June to December 1945. The allies have divided Berlin, Germany, Vienna and Austria into four areas of control. The western and eastern borders of Poland have been shifted, dislocating Germans and Poles. Jews find themselves unwanted and unwelcome in most countries; their exodus to Palestin...more
Sarah
This book was certainly not as page turning as the previous books in this series. The plot goes in many different directions and gets confusing. The book reintroduces many previous characters, but so many at one time is confusing and it's difficult to keep them straight. However, this book does put some closure on those characters and their fate.

Also, Mr. Downing has a serious issue with Americans, but his portrayal of ordinary Germans is a bit heroic. Apparently they all opposed Hitler and the...more
LaNae
I didn't enjoy this book as much as the others, perhaps because the plot line seemed to meander quite a bit. There were a lot of reunions with various characters from previous books, with almost too many threads to follow. John Russell is again a pawn between competing spy agencies, and has become somewhat desensitized to death and killing, if it means his survival.

However, I appreciated the setting of this book. It provided a realistic depiction of life in an occupied post-war, pre-wall Berlin....more
Evelyn
This is the fourth book in the John Russell/Effie Koenin series. It takes place immediately after WWII ends, during the fall and winter of 1945. At the close of the previous book in this series, Russell is reunited with his son, his girlfriend (Effie), along with a few other individuals who are important figures to Russell and Effie, just as the Allies are entering Berlin.

In this book Russell et al are living in London when Russell is called upon to repay an old but significant debt. He's force...more
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
This is a fascinating portrait of a society crawling out of chaos. It's not just the buildings and bridges that are reduced to rubble and ruins in post-war Berlin. The Americans are playing all sorts of games, some of them aligning themselves to ex-Nazis and the black market in order to fight the invisible war against the Soviets, whilst others appear to be totally unaware of what life was really like under Hitler's regime. The British are imperialists hanging desperately onto power, the stern t...more
Cheryl A
In this latest installment, the war is over and we find John Russell - British journalist, American citizen, former Communist - safe with his extended family in London. Russell and his girlfriend Effi are having a hard time adjusting to life outside of Germany, but are glad to be safe.

This safety comes with a price and Russell is contacted by Soviet agent Shchepkin, who lets Russell know that the bill is due. The Soviets want Russell to offer himself as a double agent to the Americans and delive...more
Kathleen


Lehrter Station is David Downing’s fifth book in his John Russell series, all named after railroad stations in Berlin which each has a special significance to the story.

Set against the devastation of Berlin in 1945, Lehrter Station is a spy story whose characters struggle to reclaim their lives after World War II. The city has been divided into British, American, French and Soviet sectors, and it is becoming clear that the lines are being redrawn with the Soviet Union as the new enemy for the We...more
Liviu

INTRODUCTION: Together with Alan Furst's historical novels about the immediate pre-WW 2 period, David Downing's John Russell novels which start on New Year's day 1939 in Zoo Station and so far cover the period up to New Year's Day 1946 at the end of Lehrter Station are big favorites that combine superb historical fiction - atmosphere, characters - with a dash of intrigue and action. Here is the blurb and more about it below.

"Paris, November 1945. John Russell is walking home along the banks of t...more
Elli
Lehrter Station (John Russell, #5) by David Dowling. I really liked this book. It's the first David Downing book I've read and it won't be the last. John Russell is the key character and his other half, Effi is a German actress who also insisted he leave when the going got rough and unsteady with the Nazi's in power. They were reunited after the war when he came back, hopefully to find some journalism work as well as reunite with the family...at least for the time being. 'Nuff said about the plo...more
Al
Although the first few were excellent, it's getting harder and harder to like these books. (It's unfortunate how frequently this happens with authors who are successful with one book, and then feel they have to go on milking the franchise even when there is little left to tell.) In Lehrter Station, Mr. Downing continues with his main characters, John Russell and his girlfriend Effi, and with his fascination with being very specific about the locations and streets visited by them. Beyond the geo...more
Bernie
Lehret Station is the 5th instalment of the John Russell and Effie Koenen Series. Author David Downing really creates an environment that makes you feel that you have stepped back in time. This story is post world war 2 and focuses the personal hardships are exposed. Food shortages, accommodation struggles and finding lost friends and relatives are the prevailing themes of this story. This provides a real sense of the confusion and dislocation in past war Europe. It makes the whole enterprise of...more
Jeanette
After the tremendous suffering and the chaos of the Potsdam Station finale to WWII within Berlin- this book does an after war transition to the Russian and Cold War agendas within Berlin, before there was a name for it. John is wearing another color now.

These books are sometimes redundant and so pithy in detail that they seem to tread water. But that IS the skill of a spy. To be "normal" and right there, and part of the approved authority, so to speak. Boring and normal, full of observations and...more
Scot
Fifth in this series, that has taken our cast of characters from before WW II, through WW II, and now we enter the post-war period. As always, our central focus is what plays out in the grand old city of Berlin, though to give depth and insight to that understanding characters can and will move throughout Europe.

John Russell and his Russian counterpart Shchepkin have both managed to survive all the multilayered espionage and the war itself, and now they find themselves doing a new variant of the...more
Paulo Migliacci
David Downing writes plausible thrillers - something most people won't take as the warmest of compliments, but in this case it certainly is. John Russell, the main character in Downing's 'Lehrter Station' and his four preceding WW2-era novels, is pushing 50 in the most recent installment of the series, and has led a dangerous life as a foreign correspondent in Nazi Germany before the war; from 1939 on, he ends up involved with spy agencies galore - American, British, German, Soviet -, but he is...more
Trajan
I have now read five of David Downing's series on John Russell, the Soviet-American spy. In fact I found the books conveyed the atmosphere of Berlin, before, during and after the war rather well. Its is an ambitious series and, rather like Philip Kerr's Bernie Guenther books, there are better constructed tales. I found the penultimate book on Berlin in 1945 the best: the secondary characters notably Russell's son Paul, were well developed. The battle for Berlin is depicted in parts seemingly ins...more
Mary Warnement
Downing's books end and make me look immediately for the next in the series, but I only have one in this series left. The previous book in the series, Stettin Station, ended with Pearl Harbor. I don't know if I am puzzled by or respect Downing's decision to skip the rest of the war in describing these characters. This book starts in 1945, after hostilities are over. Perhaps too much has been set during the war. It's almost too easy to create tension. The author has a book appearing this spring (...more
Brenda Hawley
I have loved this series from David Downing. It started with pre- world war II English journalist John Russell who is living in Berlin due to his German ex-wife and young son. The series goes through the Nazi take-over, the gradual tightening of freedoms, the persecution of Jews and others, the brainwashing of youth, the underground protesting and the actual war. This book now finds John in London with his love Effi when he is tracked down by a Soviet Agent who helped him get out of war-torn Ber...more
Dennis
This is another good adventure in this series. This series really gives you a different perspective of Germany before, during and after WW2 from a European stand point. Good spy story also. There is only one more book in the John Russell saga, which is good I do think it has run its course. Though I have loved all the Stations.
Monica
Downing is genius at writing an espionage spy thriller that keeps the pages turning faster than I can read them. This is the 5th book featuring John Russell and I certainly hope that it won’t be the last! In this book David Downing continues the story of British journalist John Russell and his German girlfriend Effi Koenen as they return to Berlin after the end of World War II. The war may be over but this doesn’t mean that Berlin is free of the continuing battle for power between the Russians,...more
Dorian
These may not be the most cunningly plotted spy novels out there, but they're a super compelling depiction of Eastern/Central Europe before, during and now after the war. Downing has kept my interest by choosing, over the course of what are now five books, to divide his point of view between his male and female protagonists. And he gives us a lot of information about the period without too much clunky exposition. (There are a few cumbersome and anachronistic formulations, but on the whole they a...more
Roelof Kotvis
The fifth part of David Downing's series about British journalist John Russell and his German girlfriend Effi Koenen is (again) largely set in Berlin, in the last months of 1945. And, just like with the earlier books, the author's research has been flawless: Downing paints an accurate and vivid picture of an annihilated city, in which people struggle to survive anyway they can - and try to come to terms with whatever it is they've done (or neglected to do) in the years before. The plot is not ve...more
Eddie
A good espionage read. Appeared to be well researched. But Downing's novels don't evoke the atmosphere of Philip Kerr's or Alan Furst's books. Still and all, it was intelligent and extremely interesting.
Lis
Contrary to what some commenters apparently feel, I still like this series very much (I'm sad that I'm nearly caught up to date! Only one more has appeared so far - published in 2013 - and I certainly hope there is a 2014 edition in the works.)
This one takes place in the immediate post-WWII period, mostly in Berlin. It provides a fascinating picture of a society re-emerging from the chaos and terror of war and the Nazi period - and certainly not back to "normal" life yet.
I am quite fond of John...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 27 28 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Blood of Victory (Night Soldiers, #7)
  • Prague Fatale (Bernard Gunther, #8)
  • Rosa (Berlin Trilogy, #1)
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • A Trace of Smoke (Hannah Vogel, #1)
  • The Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA's Final Showdown with the KGB
35840
David Downing is the author of a political thriller, two alternative histories and a number of books on military and political history and other subjects as diverse as Neil Young and Russian Football.
More about David Downing...
Zoo Station (John Russell, #1) Silesian Station (John Russell, #2) Potsdam Station (John Russell, #4) Stettin Station (John Russell, #3) Masaryk Station (John Russell, #6)

Share This Book