When his cover is blown, former Berlin bull and unwilling SS officer Bernie Gunther must re-enter a cat-and-mouse game that continues to shadow his life a decade after Germany’s defeat in World War 2...
The French Riviera, 1956: Bernie’s old and dangerous adversary Erich Mielke, deputy head of the East German Stasi, has turned up in Nice—and he’s not on holiday. Mielke is calling in a debt and wants Bernie to travel to London to poison a female agent they’ve both had dealings with. But Bernie isn't keen on assassinating anyone. In an attempt to dodge his Stasi handler—former Kripo comrade Friedrich Korsch—Bernie bolts for the German border. Traveling by night and hiding by day, he has plenty of time to recall the last case he and Korsch worked together...
Obersalzberg, Germany, 1939: A low-level bureaucrat has been found dead at Hitler’s mountaintop retreat in Bavaria. Bernie and Korsch have one week to find the killer before the leader of the Third Reich arrives to celebrate his fiftieth birthday. Bernie knows it would mean disaster if Hitler discovers a shocking murder has been committed on the terrace of his own home. But Obersalzberg is also home to an elite Nazi community, meaning an even bigger disaster for Bernie if his investigation takes aim at one of the party’s higher-ups...
1939 and 1956: two different eras about to converge in an explosion Bernie Gunther will never forget.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
“Dumb compliance was never my strong suit,” says the hardboiled Bernie Gunther in his 12th appearance in a Philip Kerr novel, set a decade after Germany’s defeat in WWII. Gunther’s sardonic patter with his fellow spy operatives can casually reference Goethe, while his interior monologues touch on Wagnerian opera. Kerr balances this erudition with snappy dialogue and a gripping plot, which jumps between 1956 and 1939, the French Riviera and Hitler’s own mansion. Both newcomers and fans of the series will find plenty in Gunther’s latest exploits to sink their teeth into.
Edgar-finalist Kerr's stunning 12th Bernie Gunther novel (after 2016's The Other Side of Silence) races along on two parallel tracks. In the first, set in 1956, Bernie, who's been working as a hotel concierge in Cannes, flees France because he bailed out of performing a hit for Stasi chief Erich Mielke, killing a Stasi agent in the process. The hazardous journey takes him by train, bicycle, and foot toward West Germany. In the main narrative, set in April 1939, SS Gen. Reinhard Heydrich, Bernie's boss, orders him to Berchtesgaden, Hitler's mountain retreat. A sniper has fatally shot Karl Flex, a civil engineer in Martin Bormann's employ, on the deck of Hitler's villa, the Berghof. Bernie has mere days to solve the crime before Hitler returns to Berchtesgaden to celebrate his 50th birthday. Trying to identify Flex's killer and bring him to justice proves to be the least of Bernie's worries. Kerr once again brilliantly uses a whodunit to bring to horrifying life the Nazi regime's corruption and brutality. Author tour.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Good thriller for the time period
Possibly the best of Bernie Gunther to date
I'm just about 1/4 of the way into this book and cannot put it down. Cheers to Mr. Kerr for not only keeping a beloved character going strong, but also for the amazing sense of prose that just gets better with each new novel. Don't miss out on this one if you've read some of or all of the series.
The Hearsay is that HBO bought the rights to this series of novels and I think they are the perfect home for this series. Move over Game of Thrones you might be in for some serious competition Haha
Kerr @ His Best
This book is ridiculously good. Easily best in the series. Kerr, and the series in particular, is grossly under-discovered. The writing is superb, in form and substance. Intelligent, engaging & frequently funny as can be.
The book, like the series, is an offshoot of an uncanny ability to inject anti-Nazi humor in the backdrop of perhaps the darkest period of our history.
History buffs will more easily gravitate toward subject matter, an unfortunate limitation on discovery of some of the best fiction being written in recent times.