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Union Station

Union Station, February 2024
John Russell WWII Spy Thriller
by David Downing

Soho Crime
Featuring: John Russell
408 pages
ISBN: 1641293578
EAN: 9781641293570
Kindle: B0C4J7L1C5
Hardcover / e-Book
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"Sometimes it's hard to leave the past behind"

Fresh Fiction Review

Union Station
David Downing

Reviewed by Evie Harris
Posted February 22, 2024

Thriller Historical

In 1953 John Russell, a British journalist, is living in Los Angeles with his actress wife Effie and their adopted daughter. He has managed to leave behind his former life as a double agent behind by blackmailing one of Stalin's henchmen. Life is good, but all that changes when he begins researching American firms that continued doing business with Nazi Germany and he senses someone is following him. A return trip to Berlin may provide some answers, especially when John and Effie find themselves investigating a World War II conspiracy.
Impeccably researched, the author presents a vivid picture of LA during the McCarthy era in 1953 and that of the turmoil of East Germany. For those who are interested in this period of history, there is much excellent content. Packed with politics and intrigue and expertly presented, there is much to be learned from reading UNION STATION, a novel by David Downing.
Fast-moving and thought-provoking, UNION STATION is a good choice for those who enjoy historical, and political thrillers. Highly recommended.

Learn more about Union Station

SUMMARY

In this fascinating historical thriller, a British journalist (and former spy) is adrift in McCarthy-era Los Angeles—until his research into a wartime conspiracy brings him face-to-face with the perilous instability of a post-Stalin Berlin.

John Russell, an English journalist who specializes in human-interest pieces, had always been a reluctant spy. It’s a dangerous life—especially when you are tasked with being a double agent for Soviet and American intelligence, in a city as fraught with hazard as Nazi-occupied Berlin. But it’s been years, now, since Russell was finally able to extricate himself from his life of espionage—through a shady deal with a high-ranking Soviet official.

Now it’s 1953, and Russell and his family—his long-time partner, Effi Koenen, a burgeoning star on an American sitcom, and their daughter, Rosa, a young artist on the cusp of adulthood—live a life of relative comfort in Los Angeles. Feeling somewhat adrift, Russell has just begun work on a book investigating American firms that continued doing business with Germany during Nazi occupation. Then he notices someone is tailing him around Los Angeles. Has someone not taken kindly to his research? Or could it be that the deal Russell struck all those years ago has left him with unfinished business?

The answer may lie in Berlin, where John and Effi decide to return for the Third Annual Berlin International Film Festival. Braving the political disorder of a city that was once their home, the two are thrust into a perilous mission to protect the life—and safety—they worked so hard to build.


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