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Stettin Station [Format Kindle]

David Downing
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Revue de presse

Praise for Stettin Station

“As complex and clever as the best of Kerr and Kanon, and it has spies for added style ... A tightly constructed novel with a complex plot set in a world that is on the verge of a terrible madness. Downing captures all of that and a bit more, with a touch of old-fashioned romance that really does call out for Bergman and Bogart.”
Globe & Mail

“Downing distinguishes himself by eschewing the easy ways out. He doesn't shy away from portraying the cold brutality of the Third Reich, and his characters are far from stereotypes—they're flawed, confused and real.”
Michael Schaub, NPR

“[Downing] is at his best with setting and historical detail, and this novel does not disappoint. His sharply drawn descriptions of daily life within the beleaguered Nazi capital ring true, as do the characters that inhabit it. His sense of place is outstanding.”
—Historical Novels Review

“Fans of the intelligent WWII thrillers of Alan Furst and Philip Kerr should enjoy Downing’s atmospheric and tension-filled third novel featuring Anglo-American journalist John Russell . . . With strong vivid prose, the author maintains a high level of suspense throughout, and makes the reader care about his leads.”
—Publishers Weekly

“It is a tale of terror with a thrill-a-page pace.”
—Spinetingler Magazine

 “Downing's novels are a glimpse at the human side of the war . . . I highly recommend Stettin Station.
—Gumshoe Reviews

Praise for David Downing's John Russell World War II Spy Thriller series

"Epic in scope, Mr. Downing's "Station" cycle creates a fictional universe rich with a historian's expertise but rendered with literary style and heart."
—The Wall Street Journal

“A beautifully crafted and compelling thriller with a heart-stopping ending . . . An unforgettable read.”
—Charles Todd, author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge Series
"Downing's outstanding evocation of the times (as masterly as that found in Alan Furst's novels or Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series), thematic complexity (as rich as that of John le Carré), and the wide assortment of fully rendered characters provide as much or more pleasure than the plot, where disparate threads are tied together in satisfying and unexpected ways."
Library Journal, Starred Review

“Downing is brilliant at weaving history and fiction . . . equally clever and unexpected.”
Toronto Globe and Mail

Présentation de l'éditeur

It is November 1941. Anglo-American John Russell is living in Berlin, tied to the increasingly alien city by his love for two Berliners: his fourteen-year-old son, Paul, and his actress girlfriend, Effi. One of a small and dwindling handful of permitted and much-censored American journalists, Russell has found himself pushed into serving as a point of contact between the anti-Nazi Abwehr and American intelligence. But his real work, as he now sees it, revolves around one crucial question what fate awaits those Berliner Jews who are now being shipped to the east? His investigation has already brought him into perilous proximity with the local communist underground, and will soon involve him in a celebrity murder with global ramifications. As Russell and Effi edge closer to some very dangerous truths, feuding German intelligence services and America's imminent entry into the war further complicate their struggle to outfox and outlive Hitler's Reich.

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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Guitou. 12 octobre 2015
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Cette série de romans d'espionnage se déroulant dans le Berlin des années 30 jusqu'au pont aérien de 1948-9 est absolument captivante. Le contexte historique y est minutieusement restitué et l'auteur évoque avec beaucoup de talent l'ambiance de cette ville tout simplement fascinante. Très bonne lecture de détente.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  73 commentaires
47 internautes sur 48 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Walking the Nazi tightrope - entertaining episode of the John Russell saga 18 avril 2010
Par Blue in Washington - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
David Downing's third installment of the "Station" series with protagonist John Russell is a winner. The chronology has jumped to late 1941. Hitler has invaded the Soviet Union with great initial success, but the war is about to widen with the entry of Japan and the United States. Anglo-American journalist/spy John Russell barely manages to hang on in Berlin, staying a step ahead of the Gestapo by working for several competing or opposing intelligence agencies. To leave Germany means giving up his film star fiance, Effi Koenen and son Paul. As the formal entry of the U.S. into the war approaches and with it his inevitable expulsion from Germany, Russell is pulled deeper into the political maneuvering of virtually all of his erstwhile employers or masters--the Abwehr, SD, U.S. Embassy and the Gestapo. Ultimately, the cross purposes served by the journalist spy will catch up with him and drive him to flee the country, and flight will require the help of still another old employer, the Soviets. Downing has laid down a very entertaining story line, and even when it occasionally reaches a bit far to be completely credible on reflection, it certainly holds the reader's attention throughout.

Overall, one of the great strengths of this book--and the series--is author Downing's wonderfully detailed and evocative narrative that provides a totally plausible day-to-day portrayal of how Berliners lived during the still relatively early days of WWII. There is a running commentary on what food and toiletries were available and how that affected the environment on public transportation. Through Russell's fiance, Effi, there is a detailed look at the German film industry of the time, which aimed to produce 100 morale-boosting flicks a year.

To its great credit, "Stettin Station" gives a strong focus to the story's characters. This goes well beyond the protagonist John Russell and his fiance Effi to include many secondary players who are all struggling to survive in a country in its second year of war, coping with the loss of military-age children, loss of home through bombing and loss of confidence in the regime that has constructed a police state to live in and led them into an increasingly costly conflict. Downing includes a particular focus on Berlin's Jewish population, which by 1941 was barely surviving at the margins of German society and was subject to daily persecution and deportation. Their plight figures importantly in the conclusion of "Stettin Station."

This is an excellent historic thriller with unusually detailed information about the period. Wonderful narrative writing. Terrific character development. A first-rate read.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Undercover Journalist 14 juillet 2010
Par Ted Feit - Publié sur Amazon.com
The chronicle of journalist John Russell begins in Nazi Berlin a week before Pearl Harbor in this, the third novel in the series [with a fourth, "Potsdam Station," to come]. The descriptions of Gestapo tactics and the beginnings of the "final solution" are eerily chilling.

Russell is ostensibly a correspondent for a San Francisco newspaper, allowing the author to describe the machinations of the Nazi censors and propaganda machine with vivid detail, while his protagonist acts as a go-between between German and American intelligence agents, carrying messages back and forth. He even obtains proof that the Gestapo is removing Jews from Berlin and planning to gas them, even though he can hardly publish the story.

As conditions worsen, Russell has to find a way to get out of Germany, hoping to bring his long-time girlfriend with him. It is a tale of terror with a thrill-a-page pace. Descriptions of wartime Berlin and the police state remind us of a period many may have forgotten, but of which we, and they, should perhaps be reminded.

3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 With America about to enter the war, Russell must think of escape from Nazi Germany 22 décembre 2012
Par Daniel Berger - Publié sur Amazon.com
The John Russell stories continue. With America about to enter the war, the Anglo-American foreign correspondent realizes he must leave Germany, but worries over leaving girlfriend Effi, a popular screen actress, and teenage son Paul.

Clouding his chances for departure is the secret work he's done the last two years - acting as go-between for Germany's foreign intelligence Abwehr and the U.S. Now they each want more out of him: American spooks pressure him to make a risky try for German military secrets, while the Abwehr's Admiral Canaris wants him to deliver a secret message to occupied Prague as return for relocating Russell to Switzerland to safely continue liaising with the Americans.

The Abwehr is at odds with the Gestapo, which can't wait to catch the anti-Hitler, pro-Western Canaris committing treason. And the Gestapo has never really stopped suspecting Russell, a former Communist they've manipulated against the Russians in the past. As their surveillance of him tightens he find his, and Effi's, options narrowing.

Russell starts getting wind of mass shootings of Jews in the occupied Soviet territories and plans for gas chambers. He secretly witnesses mass deportations of German Jews to "the East" beginning out of Berlin's rail yards.

Downing continues his fine scene-setting. Now two years into the war, and five months after the invasion of the Soviet Union, Berlin is a place of blackouts, rations, nightly air raids, and Gestapo terror. The characters find themselves preoccupied with getting a decent meal or a cup of real coffee as they try to decipher propaganda and censored news for what's really happening on the fronts in Russia and North Africa.

Downing develops Effi's character more in this installment, as she walks the tightrope between her job, where each film is more pro-Nazi than the last, and her secret commitment to Russell, made in the previous story, to join him in resisting where possible. It's Effi's initiatives and resourcefulness that give them a chance to escape when the time comes.

It's a fine series, comparable to Alan Furst's books, but with a central character and a little less romantic ambience; and Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series, with all the realistic Berlin detail but without the noir-detective angle. This book's character Uwe Kuzorra, an anti-Nazi German cop retired but called back into service, seems like a nod to Gunther.

Another side character, Patrick Sullivan - a pro-Nazi American now wanting to barter information about U.S. corporate complicity with the Nazis for a return to the States - may allude to Allen Dulles' law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, which represented just such companies in their efforts to secretly maintain their holdings in Nazi Germany.

Downing has done a good job in the series plausibly maintaining Russell as a figure held in Berlin by his personal ties, and somehow maintaining his balance as various foreign and domestic spies try to use him. Now that time draws to a close and Russell has to think about getting out.
4 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 great WWII espionage thriller 8 mai 2010
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
In November 1941 in Berlin, Anglo-American journalist John Russell knows Roosevelt needs an excuse to enter the war as the German armies blitzkrieg towards Moscow. To avoid censorship or worse, Russell is very careful with what he files as he knows it will take little for the Nazis to detain, kill or export him. This would leave his famous girlfriend actress Effi Koenen behind still filming propaganda movies for the Nazis' whom she and John loath and he also would be unable to help his teenage son Paul, who lives with his former wife while belonging to the Hitler Youth group.

Meanwhile as most Berliners blindly remain loyal to the Nazis, John's Communist friends report the transporting by trains of Jews to the east. Admiral Canaris, head of Abwehr, assigns John on a mission in Prague with a promise of a passage to Switzerland. However, the mission fails, but John tries to send to his contacts that American companies in Europe are profiteering from the war by selling Zyklon B gas to the Nazis.

The third Russell WWII espionage thriller (see Zoo Station and Silesian Station) is a great entry that in many ways is more a superb historical as David Downing captures the essence of Berlin just prior to the American entry into the war. The atmosphere is terrific as the Nazis deploy the Final Solution and attack the Russians while Russell struggles with getting himself and his renowned girlfriend to safety yet not wanting to abandon his son to the Hitler Group nor ignore the sales of poison gas. Readers will feel they are in Berlin in late 1941 as Stettin Station is a timely tale.

Harriet Klausner
3 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Never read a book on the Nazis that I didn't like..... 26 juillet 2011
Par RSRS - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Never read a book on Nazi Germany that I didn't like. This one is particularly good, however, because it covers so many facets of life in Berlin during the time when Germany was still winning (November, December, 1941). The story is interesting and believable. John Russell is an English journalist in Berlin - still there because he travels on a U.S. passport. He has a number of harrowing experiences with the Nazi bureaucracy, but emerges relatively unscathed. His girl friend, a well-known actress, also adds interest to the plot. John also has a 14 YO son, by his former wife, but he plays a relatively minor part in this book - the third of four in the "station" series.

Facinating action, mostly in Berlin, pertaining to Nazi actions, the unease that blankets Berlin even at this early stage of the war (with the British bombing Berlin most nights and the Nazis terrorizing the populace - not only the Jews but also ordinary citizens who constantly fear the Gestapo may come knocking during the night). Also, life in Berlin is not what it was before the war, with food and staple shortages, and manpower shortfalls as the Jews are deported and the young Aryans are sent off to war. The Nazi terror is not totally efficient, but a sense of unease and fear permeates the atmosphere all the same.

From the outsider's point of view, Germany might be seen as at the height of its power and glory in 1940-1941, but "Stettin Station" shows that life was not a bowl of cherries for most Germans even at that time.

I actually gave this book 4-1/2 stars out of 5, but didn't know which rating to specify.
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