Berlin Noir: March Violets, The Pale Criminal, A German Requiem (Bernie Gunther, 1-3)

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Berlin Noir: March Violets, The Pale Criminal, A German Requiem (Bernie Gunther, 1-3)

Berlin Noir: March Violets, The Pale Criminal, A German Requiem (Bernie Gunther, 1-3)

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By mixing fact and fiction in pre and post war Berlin Kerr demonstrated his mastery of the modern history faction genre with this trilogy; and if Gunther is Marlowe's German twin then Kerr is Raymond Chandler's alter ego with his writing style mastering and channelling Chandler's sardonic, drole, laid-back wit with complex story-telling, so if like me you love Chandler's writing then the chances are you'll probably enjoy Kerr's, and with another dozen or so later Gunthers I'll be back for more. When I started writing I was after the character of the Berliner rather than the history of Berlin,’ says Kerr. Vincent van Gogh wasn’t the only fellow who could make that kind of heady, romantic sacrificial gesture. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. In the second chapter of A German Requiem, he’s riding the train back to Berlin from a trip to Potsdam.

A Quiet Flame also moves back and forth in time, although Kerr uses a different narrative technique in this book, inserting chapters that relate an episode from Bernie’s past (Berlin, 1932) into the main story, which takes place in Buenos Aires in 1950. Bernhard Gunther, ex-cop, now a private detective mostly finds missing persons and there are lot of them in Nazi's Berlin.

is not above using a little blackmail to obtain Gunther's racially unbiased services to catch the real culprit. In the bitter winter of 1947, as the Russian Zone closes around the ruined city, Berliners live on fear and dubiously earned PX goods. Gunther is forced to accept a temporary post in Obergruppenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich's state Security Service, with a team of men underneath him tasked purely with hunting the killer.

stars, and I may read more of his books, despite the fact they are potboilers, and despite his anti-French prejudice.

Noreen wants to investigate the debate that followed the decision of the International Olympic Committee to hold the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.

This one struck up with The Great Elector’s Cavalry March and set off at a lick towards the Brandenburger Tor. With some very clever and intricate plotting Kerr has managed to meld some disturbing real life events with excellent story telling. Any proximity to her pouting, cherry-red Fokker Albatross of a mouth would have been worth losing a fingertip or a piece of my ear. I first ran across Berlin Noir, containing the titles March Violets, The Pale Criminal, and A German Requiem) in one of those remaindered book catalogs several years ago. He was best known for his Bernie Gunther series of 13 historical thrillers and a children's series, Children of the Lamp, under the name P.And in A German Requiem, the saddest and most disturbing of the three books, it's 1947 as Gunther stumbles across a nightmare landscape that conceals even more death than he imagines. Since they had the Josephine Tey I recently reviewed (worth the dollar by itself), I was incentivized to pick out another four books and this single-bound trilogy by Philip Kerr caught my eye. Anyway, it was a quick, entertaining read if you like detective novels, and it may lead you to contemplate how our era resembles (or doesn't) the 1930's. But then he went freelance, and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of the Nazi regime. Kerr's private detective Gunther is to World War II Berlin what Martin Cruz Smith's Inspector Arkady Renko is to post-Soviet Moscow -- broody antiheroes whose ethics and personal loyalties forever place them at odds with the me-first-morality of their respective environments.

He occasionally experiences flashbacks and recurring nightmares, both symptoms of posttraumatic stress. Gradually, Gunther discovers that Vienna is a mistress of hypocrisy, her smug facades masking the lethal duplicity of another war. One thing the books illustrate is the extent to which Nazism was a kleptocracy, in which anyone with a bit of power stole from stigmatized groups: Jews, of course, but really anyone who was not a staunch Nazi. Discover the original Bernie Gunther stories that make up the late Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir: the tale of an ex-cop turned private investigator uncovering the corruption, lies, brutality and murder that lie at the heart of Nazi Germany in the Thirties and Forties.But as Gunther investigates the story twists and turns and he uncovers a complex web of crime and corruption in which both Goering and Heydrich have self-interests to protect … [enough, you can read the precis and plot spoilers elsewhere].

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