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Publisher's Summary

By 1939, Anglo-American journalist John Russell has spent 15 years in Berlin, where his German-born son lives. He writes human-interest pieces for British and American papers, avoiding the investigative journalism that could get him deported. But as war approaches, he faces the prospect of having to leave his son and his longtime girlfriend.
Then, an acquaintance from his communist days approaches him to do some work for the Soviets. Russell is reluctant but ultimately unable to resist. He becomes involved in other dangerous activities, helping a Jewish family and an idealistic American reporter. When the British and the Nazis notice his involvement with the Soviets, Russell is dragged into the world of warring intelligence services.
©2008 David Downing; (P)2009 Audible Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By antonio on 04-21-14

Not much happening ....

I am an avid reader of the Bernie Gunther saga ( by Philip Kerr) which takes mostly place in the pre-war Nazi Germany. Same atmosphere , same background as in Zoo Station, but all this is depicted with a brilliance that David Downing sadly lacks. While Philip Kerr can leverage on this extremely dramatic environment to add intensity and force to the story plot, Downing writes a mousy story set out in a depressing background.
Looking forward the next Bernie's book.....

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Brian on 07-13-10


A very very good book that portrays the horrors of pre war Germany and Hitlers persecution of the Jews, while the rest of Germany carries on as normal.
First book by this author I have listened too and look forward to his other books.
Up to now going of the star ratings of all books I have read I have enjoyed all the books and been introduced to many different authors

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

By Tom on 11-30-10

Well plotted and absorbing story

David Downing has written four books set in Nazi Germany, featuring jounalist John Russell. this is the first in the series. All are very well written, and capture brilliantly the paranoia of what life must have been like, and the constant compromises one had to make to survive. Although low key, the book is superbly plotted with interlocking stories and builds up to a tense finale.

Superb narration by John Prebble greatly enhances enjoyment of the book.

Warmly recommended.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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