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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Goodreads | Eric_W Welch (Forreston, IL)'s review of Potsdam Station

# 4 in the John Russell series. At the end of volume 3 in this excellent series, Russell had escaped to Sweden and Effi had returned to Berlin, hiding in plain sight disguised as an old woman by using her make-up and acting skills. Germany had just declared war on America and the Gestapo sought both of them. Fast forward to April, 1945. Paul, John’s son, is sixty miles from Berlin on the eastern front as part of a Panzerfaust unit as the eastern front shrinks, Effi is surviving but also working to help refugees escape, and Russell is in Moscow hoping to enter Berlin with the Russian troops to find Effi.

Downing follows the travails of John (struggling to get back to Berlin to find Effie), Effie (hiding from the Gestapo as she helps refugees escape the city), and Paul (trying to stay alive as his unit is pushed back to Berlin)  as each tries to survive the war in the inferno that 1945 Berlin had become.  And Downing vividly describes that hell.

I won’t risk spoiling anything about the plot. Let it be enough to say this series is excellent, but please read them in order.

NB:  Re the Kindle edition.  The book switches perspectives regularly, e.g., from Russell to Effi to Paul and back, and there is often no transition in the Kindle edition, it’s just the next paragraph, no space, no chapter, no nothing. That needs to be fixed. On the other hand, I see there are new editions out and mine is an older one, so perhaps that has been fixed.


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