Masaryk Station

David Downing. Soho Crime, $26.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-61695-223-5
Downing's anticlimactic sixth and final John Russell thriller (after 2012's Lehrter Station) opens with a horrific scene: one night in the winter of 1948, two Russians abduct two German sisters and drive them to a grand house outside Berlin, where one sister is shot dead, the other raped. Meanwhile, Russell is in Trieste, helping the Americans interrogate possible war criminals, while his wife, Effi, is in Berlin, working as an actress and raising their 11-year-old adopted daughter, Rosa, whose parents were killed during the war. Their parallel stories unfold with Downing's characteristically solid prose and exhaustive knowledge of post-WWII Europe. There's plenty of intrigue, but not nearly enough action until Russell interviews a Russian, a self-described technician with cinematic expertise, who claims to have a film of the German girl's murder. The pace of the book accelerates and generates some palpable suspense that features the Prague railway station of the title. Agent: Charlie Viney, Viney Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/15/2013
Release date: 06/01/2013
Genre: Fiction
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