Downing, David

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Union Station

This twisty le Carré–like spy novel will please fans of the genre.

The Dark Clouds Shining

Historical espionage fiction owes much to Downing, who translates his deep knowledge of early 20th-century geopolitics into lively and lusty adventures of the first order. Astute probing into the minds of people enduring upheaval takes this series out of the action genre and into the ambiguity of failed hopes and lost causes. [See Prepub Alert, 10/22/17.]

Lenin's Roller Coaster

History buffs and espionage fiction fans will enjoy this entertaining novel, which might also make a good choice for book groups commemorating the centennial of the Bolshevik Revolution. [See Prepub Alert, 9/26/16.]

One Man's Flag

Downing exhibits his knowledge of world history in a wide-ranging story that takes place in India, Ireland, and Belgium. His details about how countries in the British empire were affected by the Great War are quite absorbing; however, the history lessons sometimes overshadow the slowly paced story. Not an action-packed thriller but recommended for those who enjoy their romance mixed with world events.

Jack of Spies

Fans of Downing's previous spy tales will not be disappointed with this excellent series launch that is full of rich historical and cultural details, revealed as his protagonist learns the espionage business on the eve of World War I. [Previewed in Editors' Spring Picks, LJ 2/15/13, p. 28.]

Masaryk Station: A John Russell Thriller

Downing's outstanding evocation of the times (as masterly as that found in Alan Furst's novels or Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series), thematic complexity (as rich as that of John le Carré), and the wide assortment of fully rendered characters provide as much or more pleasure than the plot, where disparate threads are tied together in satisfying and unexpected ways.

Lehrter Station

Downing does a masterful job of exploring life in postwar Berlin and London. The devastation of the war creates the atmosphere of despair that haunts the characters. New readers, especially fans of Philip Kerr, Joseph Kanon, and Alan Furst, won't feel lost if this is their first exposure to Downing's impressive series.

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