February 27, 1933. In this stunning prequel to the John Russell espionage novels, the Reichstag parliament building in Berlin is set ablaze. It's just a month after Hitler's inauguration as Chancellor of Germany, and the Nazis use the torching to justify a campaign of terror against their political opponents. John Russell's recent separation from his wife threatens his right to reside in Germany and any meaningful relationship with his six-year-old son, Paul. He has just secured work as a crime reporter for a Berlin newspaper, and the crimes which he has to report--the gruesome murder of a rent boy, the hit-and-run death of a professional genealogist, the suspicious disappearance of a Nazi-supporting celebrity fortune-teller--are increasingly entangled in the wider nightmare engulfing Germany.
Each new investigation carries the risk of Russell's falling foul of the authorities, at a time when the rule of law has completely vanished, and the Nazis are running scores of pop-up detention centers, complete with torture chambers, in every corner of Berlin.
- Paperback | 336 pages
- 127 x 190 x 22mm | 283g
- 01 Feb 2022
- Soho Press Inc
- New York, United States
Other books in this series
"Tensely satisfying . . . Downing excels at dramatizing the anxiety and dread pervading a society whose civil liberties are being daily eroded."
--Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal
"[A] stunning literary thriller."
--The Seattle Times
"[Downing's] Station series, six titles before Wedding Station, evoke the relentless terror of life in Berlin during World War II. Now, in a fierce and daring prequel, Downing reveals the back story to the propulsive series . . . An ideal choice for both Downing fans and newcomers."
--New York Journal of Books
--Booklist, Starred Review
"A litany of sordid crimes that are both a MacGuffin for and a window into a chilling, compelling era."
Praise for the John Russell Thrillers
Epic in scope, Mr. Downing's 'Station' cycle creates a fictional universe rich with a historian's expertise but rendered with literary style and heart.
--The Wall Street Journal
Downing adroitly elucidates the morass that was post-World War II geopolitics without dumbing it down . . . One can only marvel at his talent for infusing such a rangy cast of characters with nuance and soul.
--The New York Times Book Review
A beautifully crafted and compelling thriller with a heart-stopping ending as John Russell learns the personal faces of good and evil. An unforgettable read.
─Charles Todd, author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge Series
Downing is one of a trio of exceptional writers (Philip Kerr and Alan Furst being the other two) who have managed to re-create a time and place when much of the world seemed to have gone temporarily mad.
--The Denver Post
There's nothing better than a well-written WWII thriller. Alan Furst continues to prove it, and now Downing has shown he can produce that creepy sense of paranoia along with the best of them.
--Rocky Mountain News
About David Downing