Stettin Station (John Russell, #3)
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Stettin Station (John Russell #3)

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  750 ratings  ·  61 reviews
In the fall of 1941, Anglo-American journalist John Russell is still living in Berlin, tied to the increasingly alien city by his love for two Berliners: his fourteen-year-old son, Paul, and his longtime girlfriend, Effi. Forced to work for both German and American Intelligence, he's searching for a way out of Germany. Can he escape and take Effi with him?
Paperback, 320 pages
Published 2009 by Old Street
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For those looking for a detailed and evocative description of wartime Berlin, it would be hard to find a better way of getting insight into this time and period.

For those looking for a tight and taut plot that propells the narrative from beginning to end....not so much.

Given how carefully Downing catalogued every breakfast, lunch, dinner, break for tea, stop for cocktails, trip to a coffee shop and more it is not surprising that copious detail and attention are given the quality (poor) of the...more
Rob Kitchin
Stettin Station is the third book in the John Russell and Effi Koenen series. The strengths of the tale are the characterisation, sense of atmosphere and place, and the historicisation. Russell and Koenen are well realised and rounded characters and they are accompanied by a broad spectrum of nicely penned others, including journalists, administrators, various forms of police, family, friends and other citizens. Downing manages to nicely blend the everyday realities and complexities of living in...more
“Stettin Station” continues the story of John Russell, a British/American journalist living in Berlin during WWII. While the last three books focused more on espionage and Russell’s involvement with the Nazi’s, the Americans, and the Russians, this book focuses more on the personal life of Russell and the events and decisions he has to make in order to survive. Once again David Downing’s writing is excellent and he is able to create such incredible tension and anxiety about this period in histor...more
Robert Ronsson
It's number three and David Downing is into his stride. I gave three stars to the other two in the series and this one merits a four. We aren't subjected to as much regurgitated research as the earlier John Russell books and the number of meals we sit at table with John Russell for has diminished somewhat. Consequently, we have a tighter read with the tension ratcheting up as we approach the denouement. I'm a sucker for any tale that involves the adoption of false identities and I invested more...more
Sonya L Moore
I just finished this, the third, in the series and am really enjoying them. They are quick, easy reads and are well written. What I like most is that they are set in Germany during WWII and give me the citizen's view of the war.
From Publishers Weekly
"Fans of the intelligent WWII thrillers of Alan Furst and Philip Kerr should enjoy Downing's atmospheric and tension-filled third novel featuring Anglo-American journalist John Russell (after Silesian Station). By November 1941, Russell has decided...more
Downing continues this fascinating series. His writing about Berlin prior to WWII and its aftermath is heartbreaking, but he puts just enough romance and humor into the story to make it readable, even through the dark settings.
Jan 21, 2014 Anna rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jan Z
This is the 3rd installment of John Russell's ongoing struggles. In this story he finds himself in an increasingly complicated situation. "In reality he had done nothing to help Nazi Germany and several things to impede it, but the number of people who could actually testify to that fact were decidedly thin on the ground. If all of them dropped dead before the war's end he would have some difficult explaining to do."

The story begins in the fall of 1941 when the Nazis are apparently about to take...more
It must be hard to write any kind of book, fiction or non fiction, set in or around Germany during the Second World War and not at some point come up against the situation of whether 'they’ knew about what was happening to the Jewish population. The ‘hero’ of David Downing’s wonderful ‘Station’ series (you really don’t have to read on any further now, do you? You can guess this is going to be (another) good review, eh?), John Russell has, as in the previous two books, both become aware of someth...more
==A WW2 British-American journalist/spy thriller set in Berlin==
This is the third book in Downing’s wartime thrillers about British journalist/spy John Russell. I would recommend reading the first two books before this one since what happened before has a large bearing on what happens in the last quarter of this one. Having read first two, Zoo Station and Silesian Station, I was disappointed by the lack of intensity in the first half of Stettin Station but the last half more than makes up for la...more
This book is a good addition to Downing's John Russell series. It has plenty of suspense to tempt a reader to keep turning pages well beyond midnight. The one sustained impression it leaves with me is the awful realization that events like these actually destroyed countless real lives. Yes, it seems the books' main characters survive, but many of the minor characters died like their real life counterparts. The narrative is fascinating and heartbreaking at the same time.
Ross Mckinney
This was a delightful read. To stereotype it: a well written WWII novel, written about a Brit posing as an American living in Berlin in the the Fall of 1941, just before Pearl Harbor. Lots of intrigue, lots of anxiety provoking moments, good characters who don't always do what you expect - in short, top level fluff. The history is fascinating, the story better than most, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I plan to read more of the series. Highly recommended if you enjoy the genre.
Phyllis Gauker
This was my second David Downing novel in the WWII genre and it was just as exciting as had been the first, Zoo Station. I look forward to reading more of them. Maybe it's because I have also been an expatriot, but they really ring true to me. My experience was not in Germany, and certainly not during a war. I'm too young to remember all the deprivations of WWII, but do remember a little. My parents always stressed how lucky we were to be safe in the US with almost no threat of war on our soil....more
I liked this third book much better than the second in this series, all named for different U-Bahn stops in the Berlin transit system. It is 1941, and wartime rationing and bombings by the British are taking their toll on daily life and the spirit of the citizens of this major German city. How long will John Russell be able to play off against each other the various governments and agencies that employ him? As the Germans continue to advance against Moscow, rumors escalate about the likelihood o...more
Mary Warnement
Given how long I took to read this, one would guess it wasn't a quick read or that I didn't like it. But there were the holidays and I travelled. Like his other books in the series, this one ends leaving one wanting to start the next immediately. I won't spoil anyone's pleasure and give away anything. I'm glad I'm not reading as these were published; I need not wait. I'll probably check the next one out of the library but wait a little. I have others on deck. I'm reading Larson's non-fiction abo...more
Gareth Evans
This the 3rd book in the 'station' series by David Downing. To my mind it's the best of the series so far. Like the other novels, there is much travelling around Betlin and further afield by public transport, some of the travel without a great deal of purpose. Nevertheless, it builds nicely - if not using all the elements - to a tense thriller. The setting of late 1941 gives the book some novelty, Berlin during the war is a much less frequently used as a location than in the immediate per-war. T...more
A decent entry in the "Station" series, but much of it is largely indistinguishable from what's been offered in previous outings. In addition, there is very little in the way of significant plot development beyond slowly moving the protagonist and his long-time girlfriend toward the next big change in their lives, which occurs rather abruptly near the end of the book. Characterizations are good, however, and Downing does his usual good job with setting scenes and evoking war-torn Berlin, but for...more
Christine Rebbert
This is Book #3 in a series of novels about American journalist John Russell living in Berlin before, and now during, World War II. He's a spy/counter-spy so there's all that kind of story, but also his relationship with famous-actress Effi and his now-Hitler Youth son. Of course, it touches on real history, some of which seemed new to me, so I'm anxious for Milt to finish reading it so I can ask him if a couple things really were true (he's way more of a WWII expert than me). The conclusion was...more
V Reader
A very enjoyable series set in pre-war and wartime Berlin. The intricacies of plot, and atmosphere of pervasive intrigue and double-cross are always well done. Lead characters John Russell and Effi Koenen are intelligent but fallible; pitting their wits against the Nazi administration and war machine to give a very human picture of decent people trying to keep their eyes wide open and also get on with their lives in extraordinary and cruel times.
If you haven't read David Downing, start with Zoo...more
H.W. Bernard
Good book, something Alan Furst fans could savor. Well-developed characters and increasing tension. I was a little disappointed in the ending, however, in that it was like the Saturday Matinees I used to go to as a kid where the good guy was always left in a dire situation and you had to come back the following Saturday to see how things were resolved. (And then, of course, the hero was always left in deep doo-doo again and again and . . . .) In the case of Stettin Station, I guess I won't reall...more
Love these books - cannot remember who recommended David Downing but I think he should be wider read than he is. He is great at building the tension throughout the book and always leaves you wanting more. If you have ever visited Berlin then you can picture all the places mentioned in the book
Third in the John Russell and Effi Koenen series. Set in 1941, it features on the plight of the Berlin Jews. Like all the novels in the series it is strong on historical background and atmosphere and the characters are well drawn.

Andrew Harrison
love the everyday detail, not the most complex or taut plot, but looking forward to Potsdam
The writer skilfully evokes the atmosphere - including the unpleasant odours - of Berlin in 1941. The story is set in the weeks before the entry of the US into WW2.
The plot is fine but the plot is secondary as far as I am concerned. The big themes in this book are about how evil came to rule an advanced European country and the reactions of others, including the Ford Motor Corporation, to this tragedy.
If Steven Spielberg is reading, please accept my advice to option this story.
Third in the John Russell saga, and the best one so far. The details of life in Berlin circa 1941, just a month before the US entered WWII are numerous, and very vivid. There's much about how everyday Germans survived as the Nazi regime began its slide toward defeat and civilian life became increasingly difficult, paranoid and perilous. I couldn't stop reading till I'd finished, and I'm already looking forward to the fourth volume, which will be published in the US in April...
Really intriguing book set in Berlin during the Nazi era. John continues to spy for Germany, England and the US. No one knows that he is working for all the governments. But each can give him favors. In this one, his girlfriend and he escape to Sweden. They are struggling to keep a few steps in front of the Gestapo. Effie returns to Berlin. John continues. What will happen to his son in Berlin? John solved two murders while he was in Berlin, both dead ends for the police.
I dug it. Russell is the chill and read the paper with a coffee kind of guy, and consistent with how it was described in the non-fiction book I read about Berlin at the end of 1941, the conditions of the wartime city are starting to go downhill and a good cup cannot be found anymore. Things aren't yet a chaotic hell, but dreary is in full force. Really enjoyed how well it lined up against what I had read from the real accounts.
Life in Berlin for John Russell, Anglo-American journalist, is getting more and more complicated as he continues to walk a tightrope between the intelligence services in Nazi Germany just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the entry of the US into WW II. The descriptions of daily life for the citizens of Berlin are an interesting backdrop to Russell's personal story and the difficult choices he must make.
Wilde Sky
An American living in Berlin in 1941 has a complicated family life which he balances with various “spying activities” for both the Americans and Germans.

The story is fast paced with a number of twists and turns (most of which are believable). Not sure how much of the historical detail is true but the book is still enjoyable.

If you enjoy WWII dramas / espionage thrillers you may enjoy this book.
Melissa Acuna
The 3rd book in the John Russell series takes place in Berlin in 1941. Shortages of food, fuel and necessities are making life uncomfortable for ordinary Germans, while the Nazis live well. John Russell's past finally catches up to him and he has to flee the country.
This book is less thriller and more historical novel than the first title in the series but still a good read.
It's rare I get frustrated when a book ends and I want *more* now but this series became so good and this book (which is the best so far, though Zoo and Silesian were excellent too) is so compelling and the characters' arc so interesting that I got upset when it ended, re-read it twice and the next book (hopefully tbp in 2010) Postdamer Station is an asap...
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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) Lehrter Station (John Russell, #5) Masaryk Station (John Russell, #6)

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