From Publishers Weekly
Set in pre-WWII Berlin, Downing's fine new thriller introduces a clever and honorable hero, British journalist John Russell, who has spent 15 years working in Germany. Despite finding the Nazis despicable and war inevitable, Russell wants to remain in Germany to be near his girlfriend, beautiful actress Effi Koenen, and his son, Paul, from whose mother he's divorced. A mysterious Russian hires Russell to write a series of articles praising Nazi achievements, and though he finds this work odious, he figures out a way to make the job palatable by involving the British consulate and their chief intelligence officer. He's drawn increasingly deeper into the espionage web of not only the Russians and British but also the Germans. How he extricates himself from all three and gets revenge on the Nazis will have readers holding their breath. Fortunately, the satisfying ending suggests Downing (The Moscow Option
) will bring Russell back in a sequel. (May)
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As the pivotal year 1939 begins, John Russell, a British expatriate, is eking out an existence in Berlin as a freelance journalist. He is trying to keep his head down and play it safe so he can stay in Nazi Germany to be near his young son and his girlfriend--a glamorous yet cynical German movie actress. One afternoon, a Soviet agent approaches him with a business proposal for Russell to write articles putting a positive slant on Germany and to be published in Pravda--
ostensibly to prepare the Soviets for a nonaggression pact with Hitler. But soon, both the Nazis and the British become interested in Russell's new business arrangement, and he quickly falls under their hardened scrutiny. After the alleged suicide of a fellow journalist, Russell finds himself in possession of perilous secrets that will tear his peaceful, safe little life apart. This is a quiet but suspenseful tale of an ordinary man living in a dangerous place during a dangerous time who finds within himself the strength to do heroic acts. Michael GannonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved