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Berlin Noir

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Overview

Ex-policeman Bernie Gunther thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin. But then he went freelance, and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of Nazi subculture. And even after the war, amidst the decayed, imperial splendour of Vienna, Bernie uncovered a legacy that made the wartime atrocities look lily-white in comparison...

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Berlin Noir

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Overview

Ex-policeman Bernie Gunther thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin. But then he went freelance, and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of Nazi subculture. And even after the war, amidst the decayed, imperial splendour of Vienna, Bernie uncovered a legacy that made the wartime atrocities look lily-white in comparison...

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140231700
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/1994
  • Series: Bernie Gunther Series
  • Pages: 848
  • Sales rank: 108,163
  • Product dimensions: 4.94 (w) x 7.64 (h) x 1.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip Kerr

Philip Kerr is the author of many novels, but perhaps most important are the five featuring Bernie Gunther—A Quiet Flame, The One from the Other, and the Berlin Noir trilogy (March Violets, The Pale Criminal, and A German Requiem). He lives in London and Cornwall, England, with his family.

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Table of Contents

March Violets 1
The Pale Criminal 249
A German Requiem 527
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting and Captivating

    This is a collection of the first three novels in the Bernhard Gunther series that were written between 1989 and 1991 and were published together in 1993 under the title "Berlin Noir". Detailed in it are the earlier adventures of Bernhard Gunther, a private detective who specialized in missing person cases. The scenes reflect the climate of pre and post-World War 11 Berlin. As for the stories, they highlight some of the horrors that began with the birth of National Socialism and end with the allied occupation and reconstruction.

    Book 1 "March Violets", Berlin 1936

    When Gunther is retained by wealthy German industrialist Hermann Six to investigate the arson murder of his daughter and son in law and the theft of some priceless jewellery he finds himself in the middle of a major conspiracy involving highly placed Nazis. His investigation plunges him into Berlin's dark side with its noisy cabarets, its easy women and tough men, and eventually to Dachau concentration camp. There he finds himself both on the receiving and giving end of violence, violence the world has yet to learn of. He has become a pawn in a game where corruption and decadent behaviour are practiced at its highest level.

    Book 2 "The Pale Criminal", Berlin 1938

    This is a time when the situation in Germany is escalating from bad to worse and P.I. Gunther is investigating a case of blackmail on behalf of his client Frau Lange. Part of his investigation has him undercover in a clinic where psychotherapy is practiced but things turn ugly when his partner is murdered and the alleged blackmailer commits suicide. To complicate things even further, Gunther is given an order he can't refuse, he is ordered back to Kripo by the SS general Heydrich to work on a serial murder case in which two SS officers are being fingered by public opinion. This is a highly explosive period in Berlin just prior to Kristallnacht.

    Book 3 "A German Requiem", Berlin 1947

    This is a time when Germany is divided and Berlin is in a state of devastation, its people are doing their best to find food and shelter and rebuild their lives. Gunther recently released from a Russian prison is asked to investigate the murder of Edward Linden, an American Counterintelligence captain. An old acquaintance of his, Emil Becker has been arrested for the murder and may soon be convicted and put to death. Gunther strongly suspects Becker is being framed and with the clock ticking he must follow his strongest leads. The Russian Colonel Palkovich Poroshin, now in Vienna may have some important pieces to the puzzle but can Gunther really trust him. Deep into the investigation he draws the attention of a group of men who have their own secret agenda. An agenda that subsequently uncovers a nightmare landscape containing more death than he could ever have imagined....

    The three novels are very interesting and captivating. What I found most fascinating is the historical setting; it brings us deep into the dark and chaotic period of Nazi-era Germany. Through the protagonist, we feel the hype and frenzy created by Hitler and the subsequent behaviour of the Nazi followers, we also experience the emotional letdown the German people felt post-war. Bernhard Gunther is portrayed as a person with an attitude who walked a fine line to stay alive. He was once an SS officer under the command of Heydrich, Himmler and Goering but transferred to the Russian front in order to dista

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    My reviews are published with the individual volumes. I liked A

    My reviews are published with the individual volumes. I liked A German Requiem the best, but thought that March Violets was the weakest Gunther novel- I have now read them all. A Pale Criminal is, for me, a stain on the series as Bernie lets his inner homophobe out, something not seen after that.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2009

    Regarding 'March Violets' in Berlin Noir.

    If I had wanted a street map of Berlin, I would have bought a street map of Berlin. Other than "Noisy as two cats F-----g on a tin roof," the story contains every simile a man could possibly think up. And it could be in there, and I may have missed it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2005

    Hard boiled detective in Nazi Germany

    This is a great addition to the hard boiled detective library. Kerr's detective is the classic wise cracking good guy loner up against classic evil, Nazi Germany. Highly recommend.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2013

    Fantastic Stories

    Philip Kerr hit the right tone for the Nazi period, and after. The stories were all very poignant. I look forward to reading more of Mr. Kerr's works.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 3, 2012

    Kerr serves up a hard-boiled world and wraps it in fine, detaile

    Kerr serves up a hard-boiled world and wraps it in fine, detailed writing. The character of Bernie Gunther is one of the most memorable in detective fiction IMHO.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2000

    A fly on the wall view of Hitler's Germany . . .

    Berlin, 1937, 1940, and 1945-46. Bernie Gunther, a cynical ex-Berlin Kripo cop views the world from the perspective of his survival, knowlingly grinding out his existence despite the Nazi demons that weave in and out of his investigations. This trilogy of novellas follow Gunther investigations in finding missing persons through detailed view of pre-war and early WWII Berlin, and the gutted devastation of post-war Berlin and Vienna. With humorous observations, Gunther in the first person skewers the likes of Himmler, Heydrich, 'Fat Herman,' and those who endure them in silence, including himself. In three closely plotted procedurals, Gunther reveals much about 'How it could have happened?' I recommend this book highly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2013

    Bernie Gunther is such an interesting character and Berlin 1930'

    Bernie Gunther is such an interesting character and Berlin 1930's through 1940's adds a wonderful flavour to these police procedurals.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2013

    I was very disappointed in March Violets.  I was expecting a rea

    I was very disappointed in March Violets.  I was expecting a real page-turner, based on other reviews. I had to make myself finish it. The gratuitous violence was upsetting and pointless...I knew the Nazis were evil and Dachau was a horrible place before I ever picked up the book.  No real mystery here, just one atrocity story after another.  Unfortunately, I got the three-volume one. I certainly won't bother reading #2 & 3.

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  • Posted October 19, 2009

    Another place and time

    Interesting take on the classic thirties detective novel. Lots of raw action, sinister intrigue, tenuous relationships. What piques the interest is the setting, Nazi Germany in the late '30's. Sort of a guturral Phillip Marlowe. The characters were interesting, the plot a little weak and the ending too coincidental. A little distracting was all of the German street names, which couldn't be avoided (you couldn't have a Maple Street in Berlin), but you tended to just ignore them which made attempts to reconstruct geographic areas a little difficult as the book progressed. Overall an interesting read, going from camp to the camps over the book's journey. A recommended read for someone looking for a hard boiled mystery novel in a different setting.

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    Posted June 18, 2010

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    Posted June 16, 2013

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    Posted December 4, 2008

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    Posted January 18, 2010

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews

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