Review: In 1941 Berlin American foreign correspondent and journalist — and sometime undercover agent — John Russell decides it's time for him to start making plans for his family to leave Germany, by any means possible, in Stettin Station, the third mystery in this series by David Downing.
Adolph Hitler's devious schemes to take over Europe are falling into place. France, Poland, Hungry and other countries in Europe have collapsed and are now a part of Hitler's Nazi State. His armies are now spreading to the north, south and west trying to surround Russia and thereby make it, too, a part of his empire. The degeneracy of the Third Reich is still unknown throughout the world, though rumors are spreading that Jews, young and old, are being put on boxcars and sent somewhere east where they are never heard from again. John knows he's in over his head, this job he's taken more dangerous than he imagined. Unknown to him, the Germans are already aware of his secret meetings with an intelligence representative from the American Consulate. As Hitler's aggressive intentions become more clear and the possibility of an Anglo-Saxon war grow more likely, John faces the certainty of deportation — or worse — and years away from his son, Paul, his girlfriend, Effi, and everyone else that he cares about.
Though some backstory is provided here, Stettin Station may not be the best book in this series to read first. John Russell's life is very complicated and newcomers may not appreciate the nuance of his situation in Berlin. Much of his relationship with the Russian intelligence agency, with which he has backup escape plans, is, for example, outlined more completely (and in better context) in previous books. Still, with its sharply defined characters and credibly drawn historical backdrop, fans of suspense novels will appreciate how narrative tension is created and maintained throughout Stettin Station.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Stettin Station.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of Stettin Station for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Soho Press (Hardcover), May 2007
ISBN-13: 9781569474549; ISBN-10: 1569474540
Soho Press (Hardcover), April 2011
ISBN-13: 9781569479179; ISBN-10: 1569479178
Location(s) referenced in Stettin Station: Berlin, Germany
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Stettin Station by David Downing — A John Russell Mystery
Publisher: Soho Press
Publication Date: May 2010
List Price: $25.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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