A German Requiem (Bernie Gunther Series #3)

A German Requiem (Bernie Gunther Series #3)

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by Philip Kerr
     
 

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The disturbing climax to the Berlin Noir trilogy

Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther novels have won him an international reputation as a master of historical suspense. In A German Requiem, the private eye has survived the collapse of the Third Reich to find himself in Vienna. Amid decaying imperial splendor, he traces concentric circles of evil and

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Overview

The disturbing climax to the Berlin Noir trilogy

Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther novels have won him an international reputation as a master of historical suspense. In A German Requiem, the private eye has survived the collapse of the Third Reich to find himself in Vienna. Amid decaying imperial splendor, he traces concentric circles of evil and uncovers a legacy that makes the wartime atrocities seem lily-white in comparison.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the wreckage of postwar Berlin, PI Bernie Gunther--in his third appearance--accepts coal for payment and reluctantly takes on a case for Russian Col. Palkovich Poroshin, one of the despised ``Ivans.'' Asked to prove black marketeer Emil Becker innocent of the death of U.S. Counterintelligence Corps Capt. Edward Linden, Gunther leaves Berlin (and his unfaithful wife) for Vienna, where the incarcerated Becker insists he had been set up while delivering SS files to Linden at the behest of a stranger named Konig. Gunther's search for Konig attracts the attention of the CIC's John Belinksky, who also believes Becker was framed. After saving Gunther from some drunken Russians, Belinsky asks Gunther to infiltrate the ranks of a super-secret group of ex-Nazis whose leader may be former Gestapo head Heinrich Muller. Obviously, the Nazi-hunting CIC wants Muller badly, but Belinsky drops a bombshell that brings into question his own role in the investigation. Unleashing a series of stunning revelations, Kerr ( The Pale Criminal ) discloses the reasons for the Russians' interest in Linden and for the many deaths involved in Gunther's case. Rooted in historical details, driven by a powerful narrative, this atmospheric novel traces a frightening course amid a multiplicity of ironies. (Oct.)
Library Journal
This is Kerr's third Bernie Gunther mystery in as many years. As in the others, Gunther must solve his case against a backdrop of war-ravaged Germany. Kerr's plot is formulaic, but his main character--with his SS background and rabid hate for the Soviet occupying forces--rises above stereotypical detectives. Kerr adds to his character with a light touch of subtle, wry humor; yet he relies on contrivances to piece together the puzzle. Still, Kerr has a good premise for a detective series and a lot of promise as a writer. Despite its faults, Requiem is worth a read. Bernie Gunther might be the next Doc Adams.-- Martin J. Hudacs, Solanco H.S., Quarryville, Pa.
Kirkus Reviews
Bernhard Gunther, who's aged over ten years since his first appearance in 1936 Berlin—he's now lived through a hellish war and has settled down warily with a wife who's cuckolding him with one of the occupying Americans—is cast as a less witty but equally mordant detective in this postwar tale of murder and political intrigue. Persuaded by a Russian officer to try to clear his unscrupulous old comrade Emil Becker of the murder of an American officer in Vienna, Bernie follows a trail from Becker to resurrected Gestapo chief Heinrich Mller—all the while sinking into a Graham Greeneish landscape of casually willing women, men willing to sell anything to survive and exonerate themselves, and occupation forces, both Soviet and American, who alternate between hunting down Nazis and recruiting them into their own intelligence forces. As in March Violets and The Pale Criminal, Bernie's widening investigations steadily deepen the sense of political evil—except that now, unsettlingly, the Nazis have no monopoly on institutional terror. Though not as elaborately horrifying as Bernie's first two adventures, this one, lacking the Reich as automatic villain, is even bleaker—and, in its depressing way, even richer in ironic insight.

From the Publisher
A brilliantly innovative thriller-writer. (Salman Rushdie)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140175615
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/15/1992
Series:
Bernie Gunther Series, #3
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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From the Publisher
A brilliantly innovative thriller-writer. (Salman Rushdie)

Meet the Author

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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