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S German inhabitants live in fear of the Soviet forces who occupy half the city and whose legacy of violence has ripped apart many families John Russell works for both Stalin's NKVD and the newly created CIA trying his best to cut himself loose from both before his double agency is discovered by either As tensions between the great powers escal. This is number 5 in Downing s John Russell and Effi Koenen series and for fans of the first 4 it won t disappoint The series tracks the adventures of a British American journalist and expat living in Berlin and his German actress girlfriend from their pre war days in Nazi Germany through the war years and finally to this book which takes place in 1948 and which is billed as the final installment of the series though to be honest I m not convinced Downing doesn t still have another one up his sleeve The premise of this book as well as the other 4 is engaging Initially stuck in Germany because his ex wife and son are there as well as his current girlfriend Russell ends up being recruited by the Americans and the Russians to spy for their respective countries using his journalist credentials as a cover Each thinks he s a double agent on their side and during the war the Germans recruit him as well assuming he ll do their bidding above the others How Russell manages to juggle all his masters yet stay relatively true to his moral center keeps the reader interestedAlong with the well paced plots and engaging lead characters Downing s background descriptions of life in Berlin as well as a few other European cities before during and after the war are a major portion of the hold these books have on the reader The details and descriptions are skillfully written and help bring the story to life as well as cause the book s atmospherics to linger in the reader s memory even after the story is doneThis time Russell and Koenen are trying to survive in the American sector of the divided city while being unwillingly drawn into Russian intrigues Russell realizes the only way to put his clandestine past behind him and be truly free is to find some information so dangerous to the Russians cause that they ll leave him alone for fear of its revelation How Russell manages this and makes it work is a fine way to wrap up the series although this reader would still like some

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Masaryk Station

Ate each passing day makes Russell’s position treacherous He and his Soviet liaison Shchepkin seek out one final operation one piece of intelligence so damning it could silence the wrath of one nation and solicit the protection of the other It will be the most dangerous task Russell has ever taken on but one way or the other it will be his las. Berlin Prague and Belgrade are not a lot of fun to live in after WWII John Russell double agent working for the Soviets and the Americans spends most of his time trying to figure out how to accomplish his missions for both of them and extricate himself from working for either of them He just wants to keep his wife and his daughter safeI have not read the earlier books in this series and I do think that would have helped with understanding the relationships between the characters but I thoroughly enjoyed this thriller anyway Having spent a little time in Eastern Europe this felt very realistic If you re a student of WWII or the Cold War this book is an interesting novel about the time as those two are intersecting The settings feel real the characters dilemmas and emotions feel real the secret agencies on both sides feel real I would place David Downing in the top rank of spy novel writers and he became one of my favorites with this bookThis received this book through Goodreads giveaways and I was excited to have the opportunity to read it

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Berlin Still occupied by the four Allied powers and largely in ruins the city has become the cockpit of a new Cold War The legacies of the war have become entangled in the new Soviet American conflict creating a world of bizarre and fleeting loyalties a paradise for spies As spring unfolds a Western withdrawal looks increasingly likely Berlin’. Masaryk Sta tion by David Down ing is the last novel in the John Rus sell series The story takes place in the chaotic time in 1948 Berlin when the city was divided in the post war eraJohn Rus sell is an Amer i can jour nal ist liv ing in Berlin for a long time Even though he was linked to the Com mu nist Party he is involved in spy ing for the Amer i cans and the Rus sians try ing to keep his fam ily secure and safe John is mar ried to a Ger man actress named Effie they have a son and an adopted daughterJohn is plan ning one final job which will cement the finan cial secu rity and well being of his fam ily before he retires How ever that final reward will take guts cun ning and an enor mous risk which he might not be will ing to takeMasaryk Sta tion by David Down ing ties up the John Rus sell series nicely will giv ing the reader much to think about even thought the story takes place 7 decades ago In this book Mr Rus sell strug gles to the do the right thing but doesn t really know what the right thing is or even what is the right course of action he should takeMr Down ing does an excel lent job writ ing char ac ters All of the char ac ters in the book bad or good felt as if they could have been real peo ple How ever the plot is still dark and bru tal against the back drop of Prague and BerlinThe inter est ing part of the book was the cur rency reform of Berlin when both Amer i can and Russ ian inter ests wanted to con trol the cur rency and hence the econ omy Both coun tries try to reassert their power and legit i macy over Berlin nei ther will ing nor polit i cally able to back out The author also rec og nizes the famed Berlin Block ade in which Rus sia blocked all pas sages by air road rail and water between the East and West zones The block ade was designed to force the USA Eng land and France to leaver Berlin or at least accept Russ ian cur rency in their areasIt didn t workThis is the final book to an excel lent series in which the author appraises post World War II Europe in a cyn i cal tired yet clear man ner The book is a won der ful intro duc tion to the Berlin Block ade told through an excit ing story with like able charactersDis claimer I got this book for freeFor reviews and bookish posts please visit


10 thoughts on “Masaryk Station

  1. says:

    Masaryk Sta­tion by David Down­ing is the last novel in the John Rus­sell series The story takes place in the chaotic time in 1948 Berlin when the city was divided in the post war eraJohn Rus­sell is an Amer­i­can jour

  2. says:

    This is the last in the Station series and I'm already thinking that I've been a bit harsh in only giving it three stars but I'm sticking to it for a number of small reasons that I shall explain laterIn Lehrter Station Dav

  3. says:

    Russell wondered how much easier his life would have been if he'd just done as he was told Why hadn't he? What ha

  4. says:

    A superb end to a simply wonderful series A marvellous end to the book Happiness tinged with sadness Tragedy an

  5. says:

    This is number 5 in Downing's 'John Russell and Effi Koenen series'and for fans of the first 4 it won't disappoint The series tracks the adventures of a British American journalist and expat living in Berlin and his German actress girlfriend from their pre war days in Nazi Germany through the war years and finally to this book which takes place in 1948 and which is billed as the final installment of the series

  6. says:

    I am so sorry to see this series end but in

  7. says:

    Berlin Prague and Belgrade are not a lot of fun to live in after WWII John Russell double agent working for the Soviets and the Americans spends most of his time trying to figure out how to accomplish his missio

  8. says:

    Those of you that follow me know I have read every book in the John Russel series I started to think after the last instal

  9. says:

    The sixth and final volume in the John Russell series all named after German train stations This last volume put

  10. says:

    The last of this 'Station' series by David Downing As enjoyable and informative as the preceding 5 stories His writing style always appeals to me I look forward to reading something else by Downing in the future