This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Zoo Station (A John Russell WWII Spy…

Zoo Station (A John Russell WWII Spy Thriller) (original 2000; edition 2013)

by David Downing

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5992823,428 (3.81)211
Title:Zoo Station (A John Russell WWII Spy Thriller)
Authors:David Downing
Info:Soho Crime (2013), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Zoo Station by David Downing (2000)

  1. 10
    The Sleepwalkers by Paul Grossman (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Family men caught in the uncertainties of Nazi Berlin with intrigue and mysteries thrown in. Sleepwalkers is set in 1933; Zoo Station in 1939.
  2. 00
    Night Soldiers by Alan Furst (majkia)
    majkia: similar books in that they focus on ordinary people swept up into becoming spies.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 211 mentions

English (27)  French (1)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Just could not get interested in the character. ( )
  jamespurcell | Jan 2, 2018 |
This is a very good slow boil thriller set in Berlin just before the start of WWII, during 1939. It is billed as a spy thriller but it isn't the sort that Alan Furst excels at. There are several things the story revolves around, notably Jewish Germans and the development of a final solution for developmentally disabled children and other asylum residents. The characters in here are interesting and well developed.

The author obviously knows his history with all the period detail, although the naming of just about every street eventually seems a little excessive. This isn't a history lesson, however, unless one knows absolutely nothing about the rise of Nazi power in Germany. What it does do is put a human face on the unfolding events. Not a page turner until close to the end but it is a very satisfying read.

This is the first book in a series and my book included a preview of the following novel Silesian Station which looks very good. ( )
  RBeffa | Sep 18, 2017 |
David Downing is Alan Furst's equal when it comes to setting a scene and creating a terrific cast and atmosphere, and he probably beats Furst when it comes to plotting in this one. A great read, and the first in a series that I am looking forward to devouring sooner, rather than later. ( )
  jimgysin | Jun 19, 2017 |
A brilliant evocation of 1939 Berlin, pre-war but with war clouds gathering. Meticulously researched as English journalist John Russell is recruited to spy on the Nazis for the Russians but finds it useful to share information with the British as he tries to help a Jewish family. I can't wait to read the rest of the "Station" series. ( )
  edwardsgt | May 20, 2017 |
This is the first book that I have read entirely in 2015.

Amazon had the whole series as a deal of the day for 99p each. I’d had this one, the first in the series, for a little while so I dipped in to see if the rest were worth buying. I got hooked and spent a fiver!

I bought this one as an amazon recommendation. I’ve been buying first hand accounts and histories of the SOE for decades. I picked up the pace a bit a year ago when doing background reading for the short story Hunting Nazis which I used for the end of module on A215. I also read cold war spy fiction too. So amazon recommended me Downing’s series. The link is fairly obvious.

This is about an Anglo American journalist living in Berlin in 1939 where his German ex wife and kid live too. He has a girlfriend too. The book starts on 31 Dec 1938 just as things are darkening. The story is as much commentary on how the war comes and why ordinary people didn’t protest as it is about how John Russell is drawn into working for various intelligence agencies.

The story is paced very well and has that car crash quality about it. You know everything is going to hell but you want to keep on reading to find out how. I hadn’t expected a number of the twists in the story and I did wonder if it was going to end with him in jail, I knew it couldn’t be worse because there were five more books.

This was very enjoyable and I finished it in a few days. It sneaked in ahead of some other books in the reading order, although I’m resisting the next one until I’ve managed a couple of paper books, per my 2015 resolution. ( )
  jmkemp | Jul 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Downingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
There were two hours left of 1938.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary
British journalist
Living in Nazi Berlin
Spies reluctantly

No descriptions found.

When an American journalist living in 1939 Germany agrees to write articles for the Soviets, he gets dragged into dangerous activities and is sought by warring factions when British and Nazi intelligence discover his actions.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.81)
1 1
2 5
2.5 2
3 31
3.5 17
4 71
4.5 17
5 17

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 128,849,527 books! | Top bar: Always visible