Mark's Reviews > Silesian Station

Silesian Station by David Downing
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Apr 16, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, mystery, thriller
Read from March 31 to April 13, 2012

I'm loving this series. This second installment doesn't have quite the heart-stopping suspense of the first one, but that is compensated for by the fact that you now know the relationships of some of the main characters.

In this book, John Russell, the British-American journalist in Berlin on the eve of WWII, is waiting to see if and when Hitler will invade Poland (it's a good reminder that what we now see as a fait accompli was agonizingly uncertain at the time). The Gestapo have arrested and briefly held his girlfriend, Effi, and he soon finds out that the price for leaving her alone is for him to agree to pass false intelligence to the Soviets. As a former Communist, Russell of course tells his Soviet contacts about the Nazi plans, and unbeknownst to either of them, the Americans have prevailed on him to do some intelligence work for them.

In the midst of all this, he does still try to function as an actual journalist, and finds himself wrapped up in more than one subplot. The driving thread of this novel is the disappearance of a young Jewish woman who comes from her country farmstead to Berlin to work and never makes it to her job, which happens to be with Russell's compassionate ex-brother in law. In the meantime, he has to worry what will happen to his son Paul, who is almost old enough to be soldier material, and he is trying to help a woman who once was married to a Jew but has since started living with an SS officer.

What I like about this series besides the fine writing and pacing is that Downing shows us just how complex relationships both personal and political can be. Black and white soon become shades of grey, just as in real life.
2 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Silesian Station.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

03/31/2012 page 10
show 9 hidden updates…

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Lewis (new) - added it

Lewis Weinstein Thank you for making me aware of this series. Excellent review of what looks like a great read. Especially for me since it will add background to my research on the novel I am currently working on.

Mark You're welcome. Look forward to your book

back to top