Review: Potsdam Station Book Four by David Downing
Author: David Downing
Publisher: Soho Crime 2011
Labels: Historical fiction, World War II, Nazi Party, Germany, Berlin, Espionage, Spy, Holocaust
Rating: 5 Stars
April 1945, Berlin, Germany.
In Potsdam Station a sequence of the final weeks of World War II is given. John Russell, his girlfriend Effi Koenen, and son Paul, are each given a voice to their moments in history.
John had left Germany in the previous book. Effi continued to live in Berlin after John left. Her acting career on hold, she began giving aide and solace to those needing to escape the Nazi's. In Potsdam Station, John's mission is to try and make it back into Berlin before the ending onslaught of the Soviet Union. John has not been in contact with Effi, or Paul, since he left. Paul, is age 17, he is a gunner and in the 20th Panzergrenadier Division, he's been fighting at the Eastern Front. Will John be able to find Effi and Paul, will they still be alive, will they be able to renew their relationships?
I have loved all of the books in the John Russell series, but Potsdam Station has been my favorite.
Why did I give this book 5 stars?
- Exploding artillery shells, bombs from planes, charred trees, destroyed buildings, rations, fear of death, fear of rape, fear of unknown, daily and or nightly trips to air-raid stations, families torn apart, loss of material possessions, loss of jobs, husbands and fathers gone----all these are brought forth dramatically in Potsdam Station.
- Effi, being a woman on her own during a war, and in a city being destroyed by 2 advancing armies, made for anxiety in me as well as fear for her life. She had no one to protect her. All women knew what the Soviet army was capable of. Women also feared what Nazi soldier's might do to them, or ask them to do. It was a horrifying life that they lived.
- Once again I was given a panoramic view of what my main character's saw. For example when Effi was in the air-raid station she observed the people around her, what they looked like, and what their demeanor was.
- John Russell is unconventional. He's real, imperfect, dimensional.
- I've watched Paul grow up from a boy to a young man. He is now fighting for his homeland even though he knows they will be defeated. His thoughts, feelings, actions, are all described with stoic emotion.
|Post war Berlin 1945|