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Stettin Station    by David Downing order for
Stettin Station
by David Downing
Order:  USA  Can
Soho, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

Continuing in the exemplary form established in Zoo Station and Silesian Station, his two previous John Russell thrillers, author David Downing takes readers again to Nazi Germany. This time, in the final months of 1941, American-British journalist and reluctant espionage agent Russell realizes that 'war speeded up the process of dying ... but tended to slow down everything else.'

In the midst of the harrowing, paradoxical processes, Russell, as the action unfolds, finds himself dealing with complicated ethical dilemmas, challenges that can be encapsulated in the following question: Can he do anything to protect his long-time girlfriend (Effi, the talented German movie star), his fourteen-year-old son (Paul, the impressionable young German patriot), and any of the banished Berlin Jews (those now being relocated by numberless trainloads to uncertain fates in the east), or - when he is confronted by political duplicity, conflicted loyalties, and a celebrity murder - should Russell seek out and report on the truth, as is the duty of a journalist, or should he focus only upon protecting himself by escaping as soon as possible from Hitler's increasingly dangerous Reich?

The answer to that question can be found in the highly recommended Stettin Station, a superb thriller that vividly portrays a fractured society on the brink of nightmarish disaster.

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