Review: Masaryk Station, Book Six in the John Russell Series by David Downing

Heavy sigh! This will be the last book in the Station series by David Downing. I've loved all of them, some more than others'.....can't wait for the authors next work, Jack of Spies available April, 2014. 

Title: Masaryk Station
Author: David Downing
Publisher: Soho Crime June 18, 2013
Genre: Fiction
Labels: Post World War II, Espionage, Spy, Soviet Union, Post War Berlin, Post War Europe, Communism
Format: Hardcover
Age: Adult
Pages: 330
Rating: 5 Stars
John Russell, an American journalist, has been living and working in Berlin since before World War II. He was linked to the Communist party in his early years. He was briefly married to a German citizen and they had a son named Paul. John Russell, and his long-time companion is a German actress named Effi. They adopted a young girl orphaned by the war, her name is Rosa. Through out the Station series John Russell, has been involved in espionage, he's struggled with each opposing side, he's struggled with his own feelings and conscience. In Masaryk Station, the year is 1948. Europe is beginning to rebuild, although destruction from the war is still evident. The Soviet Union is a threatening menace in Berlin, and in eastern Europe. America wants information on what the Soviet Union plans to do. The Soviet Union wants information on what America has knowledge of, how ready they are for another war, what their reaction would be to any given hostile action, and what they plan to do with Berlin. John Russell is working both sides. His belief all along, and throughout the Station series has been for the safety and security of his family.
One final job may secure a way out for all of them. The mission is prickly with danger, but the payout will be freedom.
My Thoughts:
Wow! What a fantastic ending book for this series!
Why did I give this book 5 stars?
  1. In a series, the books should tie together well. Masaryk Station refers to previous books, especially to the beginning book when John Russell begins working in espionage. When the last book is read, I was able to have an aha moment, understanding the complete circle of development over the course of the other five books.
  2. John Russell and his companion Effi are characters that grow and develop over the course of the books. I can look back and see a transformation. 
  3. John and Effi are likable and relatable characters. Even though I did not agree with everything they did or said, I liked them. They are dimensional, real. 
  4. I learned the espionage world is not a place where guns are "a-blazing" like in a western movie. It is a game of cat and mouse, of observe and wait. When reaction is necessary, knowledge and wisdom of the other side is a key point.
  5. Masaryk Station, begins with a story that is a dramatic model for man's inhumanity to another. It is a story of the dark brutality that resides in men who are given full power to achieve their heinous evil. This beginning story is a picture image of those vile destructive men who were Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, including all those who fell in-line with their thinking and action.
  6. A lot of the story has the back-drop of Prague, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic.) I was there in 2001 and on this blog post I've posted a few of my photos. Prague is one of my favorite cities!
  7. By the sixth book, Masaryk Station, I wanted John Russell to do the right thing. But, then I thought what would be the right course of action for him? This question was just one of the reasons I kept reading the book.....devouring each page. 
I want to mention, because I have reader's that want to know these things, that there are curse words and course language----not on every page, but sprinkled throughout. 

Thank you to Soho Crime for my FREE review copy!
Link @ Amazon:
Hardcover $17.07
Kindle $9.99

To read an additional review from Books and Culture, a Christian Review:


  1. Thanks for introducing me to this series! I really need to get started on the second book!


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