Review: In what must be considered a supreme ironic twist, British-American journalist John Russell — who has a fiancée, teenaged son, and brother in Berlin — sees a dangerous trip into Stalin's Russia as the only way to be reunited with them in Potsdam Station, the fourth mystery in this series by David Downing.
It is 1945 and the German armies are in retreat. On the eastern front, the Russian military is making its way westward towards Germany. Russell, who has covertly worked with Russian agents in the past, comes up with a plan to be on the leading edge of their advance so that he can get to Berlin and find his family before it falls to the Allies. But the plan, risky as it is, can only get him so far; he hasn't had word from his fiancée Effie, an active member of the resistance movement, or his son Paul, who has joined the Germany army, in the years since he escaped, and doesn't know if will be able to find them — indeed, he doesn't know if they are even alive.
Potsdam Station portrays the horror of war in Europe from multiple perspectives, to great effect. Though the story is centered around John Russell's harrowing journey from Russia to Germany, subplots involving Effie's efforts to help fugitives escape Nazi police and Paul's transition from youthful idealism to adult realism add depth and interest. There's no shortage of action and suspense, either, in this fast-paced, tension-filled novel. Though the end of the book coincides with the end of the war, readers will almost certainly want to see how events involving these characters unfold in post-war Europe.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Potsdam Station.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of Potsdam Station for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Soho Press (Hardcover), May 2010
ISBN-13: 9781569476345; ISBN-10: 1569476349
Soho Press (Hardcover), May 2012
ISBN-13: 9781616950743; ISBN-10: 1616950749
Location(s) referenced in Potsdam Station: Berlin, Germany
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Potsdam Station by David Downing — A John Russell Mystery
Publisher: Soho Press
Publication Date: April 2011
List Price: $25.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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