This is the fourth of the John Russell novel by British author David Downing . This story is set in the dying daysofWWII in Berlin. Unlike the previous three this installment is described as John Russell and Effi Koenen novel. Effi has been John’s longstanding girlfriend and features much more in this story. Since the last installment there has been a gap of some years, and John is trying to return to Berlin to reunite with Effi.
In order to achieve this John once again becomes entangled with the Russians, his only way of infiltrating Berlin in the dying days of the war. As is usual with David Downing’s novels the is a great deal of detail about the war. There is a real sense of the hardships suffered by the average inhabitants of the German capital at the hands of allies bombing. He also explores the fear that must have been present at the time about the new future beyond the end of the war.
Tangled up in all of this is John’s attempts to find his son who is now serving in the army. Here he explores the ever changing needs of the regime as the nations young men are dying or being taken prisoner by the advancing forces. The novel certainly evokes an atmosphere of final days of the Nazi regime in Berlin.
Overall the major plot line isn’t as dramatic as the previous installments nevertheless an enjoyable read. Perhaps best of all the ending lends itself to another …….