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Late 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 last. The sixth and final volume in the John Russell series all named after German train stations This last volume puts the hero in Berlin a couple of years after the war and just before the Berlin airlift I liked this series for bringing up lesser known parts of history in Eastern Europe Once again Russell is caught between his Russian and American handlers

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Masaryk Station

Berlin 1948 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. 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 David Downing painted a superb picture of post War Berlin a grubby world of mixed morals the fit child of the Nazi War In Masaryk Station the world of 1948 feels perhaps a little less grubby but uncertain because of the political game the Soviets are playing It was interesting reading about a Berlin where the divisions of the times to come did not exist and which were unimaginable People seem to move around between zones with perfect freedom but also with an understanding of the undertones that exist in Soviet behaviour Abroad because that s where a lot of the action in the first half of the book takes place it is the Americans who are playing a duplicitous game just as they did in Lehrter Station They have allied themselves with former Nazi supporters in what they know will be the coming conflict with the Soviets They play a uiet role in supporting the number of escape routs that have been set up for Ukrainian Nazi supporting nationalists bloodthirsty Croat racists and for Soviet defectors Our hero John Russell is in the middle of both these worlds and thus has no illusions about either party His hands feel filthy and he would love to get outThen along comes an opportunity Something has turned up that might just provide Russell and his family with a get out of jail free ticket On the whole this was a good read marred only by the terrible grammatical errors that appear to have been thrown into the publication like spanners intended to ruin my day They are irritating and evidence of a rush into publication either that or the Soviets have been at it or those incompetent US officers that crop up in the book Without wishing to spoil the read for anyone else I do think the outcome is a little simplistic and even innocent for a book that has its feet in the realpolitik of those uncertain times Another ending would have been much realistic Oh cynic that I am

David Downing ã 2 Summary

’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 esca. I am so sorry to see this series end but in the process I have been impressed with David Downing s ability to create a continuing cast of characters who survived the Nazis and the Soviets not to mention the Americans as Berlin moved through WWII and emerged into the beginning of the Cold WarI wasn t certain this would be the last until the end notes but it apparently is In this final chapter John Russell the British American journalist and double agent his actress wife Effi and their adopted daughter Rosa are trying to survive the intrigue and tug of war between the Soviets the Germans who are now occupied by the Allies and the Americans In the process of all this with at least two other murderous subplots thrown in for good measure Russell and his longtime Soviet mentor Shchepkin discover the existence of a film that endangers the reputation of one of Russia s most feared leaders and could give them their chance to finally uit the spy business and move to America The film does its work but not before some very tense moments at the end which thankfully spare all the people we have come to care about One final note I don t know if this was the fault of the original British manuscript or its American version but Masaryk Station was full of typos dropped words incorrect verb tenses and other glitches that gave it an amateurish feel despite Downing s excellent sense of storytelling and pace Silly uestion I know but are there no proofreaders anyIf you ever want to have a close up view of what life was like in Berlin leading up to WWII and afterwards you should start with Zoo Station and move through all the other station books to get to this one


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 jour­nal­ist liv­ing in Berlin for a long time Even though he was linked to the Com­mu­nist Part

  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

  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 had made him the pain in the ass others thought him? p179A sense of ethics evidently Post war Berlin

  4. says:

    A superb end to a simply wonderful series A marvellous end to the book Happiness tinged with sadness Tragedy and hope It didn’t really feel like a ‘goodbye’ An au revoir hopefully Though that’s probably me

  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 disappoin

  6. says:

    I am so sorry to see this series end but in the process I have been impressed with David Downing's ability to create a continuing cast of characters who survived the Nazis and the Soviets not to mention the Americans as Berlin moved through WWII and emerged into the beginning of the Cold WarI wasn't certain this would be the last until the end notes but it apparently is In this final chapter John Russell the British A

  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 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

  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 installment Lehrtet Station that Mr Downing was running out of plots for Russel This book was very good from the his

  9. says:

    The sixth and final volume in the John Russell series all named after German train stations This last volume puts the hero in Berlin a couple of years after the war and just before the Berlin airlift I liked this series for bringing up lesser known parts of history in Eastern Europe Once again Russell is caught between his Russian

  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

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