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Stettin Station (John Russell #3)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  2,024 Ratings  ·  125 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 longtimegirlfriend, 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?
Kindle Edition
Published (first published September 1st 2009)
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Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good one in the series ! This is the third, I found it very detiled and enjoyed the ongoing story of John Russell.
I must say I have enjoyed this series (which I recommend reading in order) so far. This is the third and continues an examination of Germany during World War II as seen through the eyes of Russell, an American journalist, who is tied to Germany by his girlfriend, Effie, and his German-born son.

You get a real sense of the claustrophobia people must felt as they became hemmed in by bombing and the repressiveness of the regime, constantly having to watch what you say, who you say it to, and who mi
Nov 17, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s now 1941 in this series & set a few weeks before Pearl Harbour & America’s belated entry (again) into another world war. A lot of the book is dedicated to the effect of the war on the Eastern Front on ordinary Germans in Berlin & the author paints a vivid picture of this. We also experience the start of the removal of the German jews as part of the “resettlement program” in the east & its quite harrowing as you experience this through a family close to the hero who can’t bel ...more
Elaine Tomasso
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - plot wise not a lot really happens but the atmosphere of suspicion and fear is pervasive and you live the adventure with John and Effi. It is also very informative on life in Berlin at the time. I would say, however, to new readers that it will be a more rewarding read if you have read the preceding novels in the series (Zoo Station & Silesian Station).
David Highton
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third in the series of a journalist with an American passport living in Berlin during the war - this is now late 1941 and the deterioration of American-Japanese relationships increases the potential for US entry into the war. Anxiety about deportation or internment is increased when he asked to carry a message to Prague. Excellent book.
Mar 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: second-world-war
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
Jan 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  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
Rob Kitchin
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is now the 3rd book that I have read in the John Russell series and I have enjoyed all of them. This book is set in 1941 in Germany just before the US become involved in the war. It is a spy/mystery novel and the protagonist John Russell seems to get himself involved with German, Soviet and American spy agencies. Very suspenseful and a very compelling read. It maintains a very believeability factor which is very good for a spy book. I really enjoyed how the book caught the flavor of what it ...more
Francis Hardy
A two star review seems somewhat mean, I quite liked many aspects of the book but, going by the goodreads rating system, overall I thought it was ok. I feel like I should clarify that I really enjoyed the two previous books (especially the first which is superb), however, I felt that the plot let this instalment down somewhat.
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...
Bill McFadyen
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had not come across David Downing before and have entered this series of books mid way through. However I did get a sense of the tense and dangerous nature of everyday life in 1941 Germany. I will seek out some more of this 'John Russell' set and maybe Hinson fiction books . If you enjoy Philip Kerr maybe you should try David Downing.
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.
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third novel of a six book series that I have really been enjoying. Stettin Station begins about 2 years after the prior novel in the series, a jump in time that unbalanced me a little. This story covers a short period of time in Berlin, from November 17, 1941 until the end of the year. Roughly six weeks. The reasons I like this series are here, the detailed look at life in Berlin under the Nazi regime, visits to nearby areas I am unfamiliar with (it helps to be s slight geography gee ...more
Feb 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2, fiction, espionage
The early winter of 1941 goes from bad to worse for the Wehrmacht outside of Moscow. It seems to be the same for John Russell, an Anglo-American journalist in Nazi Berlin. In this third installment of David Downing's on-going Russell saga, John finds himself in a precarious position after playing the Soviets, Nazis, British and Americans off on another in order to stay in Berlin with his film star girlfriend and young son.

I felt Stettin Station's story had a chaotic beginning. The book starts ab
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book, the third in the John Russell series, covers Russell's experiences in Berlin in November and December of 1941: the period immediately before and after America's entrance into World War II. The strengths of the series--incredible mastery of atmosphere and setting--are showcased here. The author has clearly done his research, and the payoff is in lavish, immersive descriptions of Berlin, its streets, shops, offices, restaurants, cafes, rides on the U-Bahn and S-Bahn. Berlin's residents ...more
Jud Hanson
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This extraordinarily well written book is the 3rd entry in the John Russell series. John Russell is a British journalist who finds himself in the heart of the Reich, Berlin, in the early years of WWII. This book finds him caught up in games of spycraft as he tries to discover what the Reich is doing with all the Jews that are rounded up and shipped away by rail.

Any lover of history, esp. WWII, will find this book intriguing and entertaining.
John Taylor
As with the other books in the John Russell series, this one is exceedingly well researched and, no doubt, quite authentic. There is, though, an indefinable lack of suspense that keeps it as more of an academic exercise than an emotional one.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
John Russell is seeking some way to leave Germany with Effi in Dec 41. The Americans are attacked by Japan and Hitler declares war on the US. Russell's hand is forced and he flees with Effi. The story is compelling and Berlin comes alive.
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this series, it is realistic about Nazi Germany during the period and the characters are well developed.
Cletus Lee
These Berlin Bahnhof station spy mysteries just keep getting better and better. I'm off too find the next in the series
David Dube
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good Book - Story progresses

Thought this fit in nicely as part of the series.

Charters are good and nothing cheap happens.

Interested to see where this goes
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
World War II progresses and John Russell continues to get by. I thought something bad would happen to Effi, but she has become an irreplaceable character. Hopefully, they won't be apart for too long.
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terrific series. Atmosphere of war time Berlin and the struggles of foreign journalist trying avoid trouble is brilliantly conveyed
Mike Barzacchini
As the US prepares to enter WWII, John Russell must make decisions that will effect his life and the live of those he loves must. White-knuckle suspense throughout. Can't wait to read book #4!
I'm hooked on these.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable enough, but interesting mostly for its portrayal of Berlin during WWII.
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww-ii-fiction
WWII novel in Berlin
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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

Other books in the series

John Russell (6 books)
  • 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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