Summary

Munich in 1949 is a place where a private eye can find a lot of not-quite-reputable work: cleaning up the Nazi past of well-to-do locals, abetting fugitives in the flight abroad, sorting out rival claims to stolen goods. It's work that fills Bernie Gunther with disgust - but it also fills his sorely depleted wallet. Then a woman seeks him out. Her husband has disappeared. She's not looking to get him back - he's a wanted man who ran one of the most vicious concentration camps in Poland. She just wants confirmation that he's dead. It's a simple enough job. But in post-war Germany, nothing is simple, and Bernie soon finds himself on the run, facing enemies on every side.
©2006 Philip Kerr (P)2008 Isis Publishing Ltd
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Critic reviews

"A brilliant transfer of a Chandler novel to postwar Germany." ( Guardian)
"A superb crime novel...one of the most gripping and accomplished detective novels published so far this year." ( Sunday Times)
"One of the great achievements of contemporary crime fiction....pure Chandler. Powerful and impressive." ( Observer)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Tom on 19-06-08

An excellent book

Philip Kerr writes fine thrillers, and this is one of his best.

The genre is what you might term a 'noir thriller' typified best perhaps by Raymond Chandler, but what gives the book its spice and bite is that the story is set in post-war central Europe. The formula works really well, and the author skillfully weaves into the plot the thread of moral ambivalence that must have characterised the times in that part of the world. The characters are well drawn, and Philip Kerr works in very plausible references to real life villains such as Eichmann. The central character, Bernie Gunther, is not painted as a perfect human being, which I think greatly adds to the story, which is meticulously plotted, written with great pace and verve, and put in a fascinating and interesting historical context.

Narration by Jeff Harding is well judged and paced and greatly enhances the listening pleasure.

Incidentally, this is the fourth book in a sequence (but can be easily read on its own).
Strongly recommended.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Mr Rupert Seymour on 07-07-14

Post war shadowy nightmare.

Bernie Gunther is no man's fool - he knows there are evils that haunt post war Germany ... he was after all in the SS even though he was transferred to the Russian front as he wouldn't be complicit with mass murderers. He's a good ex-SS man and he knows that beneath the surface of his conquered nation there lies living proof of it's ghastly past. Philip Kerr has the magic of Jo Nesbo to be able to tell a story and suddenly surprise the reader by taking the plot off at a tangent. Just when you sigh and relax feeling Bernie Gunter has resolved a problem the writer takes us off in another direction and accelerates leaving us holding onto our hero's coattail. An added bonus is the no nonsense voice of Jeff Harding who brings life and a bucketful of hard bitten gravel to the character.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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