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Lehrter Stationby David Downing
Synopses & Reviews
WWII has ended… But the danger has just begun for a spy caught between political superpowers.
Book 5 in the John Russell historical thriller series.
Paris, November 1945. John Russell is walking home along the banks of the Seine on a cold and misty evening when Soviet agent Yevgeny Shchepkin falls into step alongside him. Shchepkin tells Russell that the American intelligence will soon be asking him to undertake some low grade espionage on their behalf—assessing the strains between different sections of the German Communist Party—and that Shchepkin’s own bosses in Moscow want him to accept the task and pass his findings on to them. He adds that refusal will put Russell’s livelihood and life at risk, but that once he has accepted it, he’ll find himself even further entangled in the Soviet net. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Shchepkin admits that his own survival now depends on his ability to utilize Russell. The only way out for the two of them is to make a deal with the Americans. If they can come up with something the Americans want or need badly enough, then perhaps Russell will be forgiven for handing German atomic secrets over to Moscow and Shchepkin might be offered the sort of sanctuary that also safeguards the lives of his wife and daughter in Moscow. Every decision Russell makes now is a dangerous one.
"Set in late 1945, Downing's outstanding fifth novel featuring Anglo-American journalist John Russell (after 2011's Potsdam Station) centers on Russell's efforts to fulfill his part of his deal with the devil that extricated his family from Berlin during WWII. NKVD agents approach Russell in London with two demands: first, that he return to Berlin to spy on some Germans to assess their political leanings and gauge the implications for the Soviet Union if Germany becomes socialist; second, that he volunteer to assist American intelligence, in essence becoming a double agent. Russell hopes that acceding to these terms will end his obligations. The stakes rise when his handlers arrange for his lover, actress Effi Koenen, to return to Berlin to appear in a German movie. A violent robbery by the Lehrter Station Gang, former Russian POWs who prefer crime to returning home, places the pair in jeopardy even before they arrive in Berlin. Philip Kerr and Alan Furst fans will be pleased. Agent: Charlie Viney, the Viney Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
David Downing grew up in suburban London. He is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction for both adults and children, including four novels featuring Anglo-American journalist John Russell and the nonfiction work Sealing Their Fate: The Twenty-Two Days That Decided World War II. He lives with his wife in Guildford, England.
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