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Publisher's Summary

Summer, 1939. British journalist John Russell has just been granted American citizenship in exchange for agreeing to work for American intelligence when his girlfriend, Effi, is arrested by the Gestapo. Russell hoped his new nationality would let him safely stay in Berlin with Effi and his son, but now he's being blackmailed.

To free Effi, he must agree to work for the Nazis. They know he has Soviet connections and want him to pass them false intelligence. Russell consents, but secretly offers his services to the Soviets instead - not for anything too dangerous, though, and only if they'll sneak him and Effi out of Germany if necessary.

It's a good plan, but soon things become complicated. A Jewish girl has vanished, and Russell feels compelled to search for her. A woman from his past, a communist, reappears, insisting he help her reconnect with the Soviets, who turn out to demand more than Russell hoped. Meanwhile, Europe lurches toward war, and he must follow the latest stories - to places where American espionage assignments await him.

©2008 David Downing; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Full of period detail, this novel effectively captures life in the police state of Berlin on the brink of war." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Lois
  • BOSTON, MA, United States
  • 02-05-10

Spies and Nazis

Just a good spy story set in Nazi Germany. If you are into this sort of story, it is as good as it gets. Doesn't require a whole lot of thinking...

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
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  • Buzz
  • Scottsdale, AZ, United States
  • 10-17-11

Fine Addition to David Downing’s “John Russell” Se

Having just finished reading Zoo Station, the first book in David Downing’s “John Russell” quartet, I eagerly took up book two in the series, Silesian Station, which covers the period immediately preceding the beginning of WWII in September, 1939. Russell is a half-British half-American journalist living in Berlin, where he has been for many years, and has acquired a former wife, a son, a current lover, and deep connections with Germans and Germany. As was so true with many Germans themselves, he is incredulous and disgusted with what has become of a country he loved and respected. His status as an expat-journalist becomes one of fear for himself and his German family, and ultimately of survival itself. While no superhero, Russell is quietly admirable in many respects. His adventures and increasing involvement with victimized Jews and Germans willing to oppose the Nazi regime, provide the plot line for this finely researched historical thriller. One of David Downing’s talents is to create believable and vulnerable characters with whom the reader can identify to the point of actually caring about what happens to them, which is not obvious. Having just finished reading Silesian Station, I am already reading Stettin Station, the next book in the series, after which I will no doubt read the final book, Zoo Station. Although Silesian Station is understandable and enjoyable as a stand-alone book, for anyone who has not read Zoo Station, it is advisable to read that book first,

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great book! Really kept me listening!

This book contains great historical knowledge. It weaves a storyline through that historical realty which kept me wanting more! I will buy the next book in this series!

My only suggestion to the author is to find a way to weave a woman's perspective into he romance part. The romance is a bit direct and devoid of the interplay women desire for an intriguing alluring experience. No offense to the author who is excellent. I have found this is a typical issue plaguing most male authors.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Very disappointing ending

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

An ending that made sense. This was a great story until the 10th chapter & then the story just cratered. It ended with no logical end of the plot. His girlfriend is left in October 1939 Berlin, along with his 12 yr old son; a potential but undeveloped female relationship is left there too, along with the story's name sake, with her situation unresolved. We are left with him staring at the ruins of a the named character's farm house in ruins. What!!!! That's it?

Would you ever listen to anything by David Downing again?

Never. Is he another James Patterson? Did he write this thing himself?

Have you listened to any of Simon Prebble’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

He was fine. The story was the problem, not him.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I felt cheated.

Any additional comments?

Don't buy this book until the author finishes it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
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silesian station

very good but wish i had read the first one. not sure if I will continue to find out what happens since I have so many others I want to listen to. but still a good book.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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