Monday, May 07, 2012

Pierce’s Picks: “Lehrter Station”

A weekly alert for followers of crime, mystery, and thriller fiction.

Lehrter Station, by David Downing (Soho Crime):
Nothing ever comes easily for Anglo-American journalist John Russell, the protagonist in a series of World War II-era thrillers named after Berlin railway depots. He escaped the implosion of Adolf Hitler’s capital city at the end of World War II (see 2010’s remarkable Potsdam Station), and has finally reunited with his actress girlfriend, Effi Koenen, in London. However, he can’t seem to shed his troublesome history with various international espionage agencies. This fifth novel in the Russell series finds our hero being approached by Shchepkin, the Soviet operative who helped him get out of  devastated Berlin. Shchepkin’s NKVD superiors now want Russell to return to that city, resume his investigative reporting role, and act as a double agent. Meanwhile, Effi is also rather conveniently called back to Berlin, where she’s to appear in a movie--and, she hopes, unmask ex-Nazi Party members still roaming the streets. Both of their lives will soon be at risk in a place where order, honesty, and safety are mere illusions.

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