Prague Fatale (Bernie Gunther Series #8)

( 21 )

Overview

The latest New York Times bestseller from the author of the Berlin Noir trilogy and the New York Times bestseller Field Gray brings Bernie Gunther back—to a house party from hell
 
First introduced in Philip Kerr's celebrated Berlin Noir trilogy, Bernie Gunther is an honest cop living in the most ruthless of times. Prague Fatale is Bernie's latest outing, and it's a tantalizing locked-door ...

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Prague Fatale (Bernie Gunther Series #8)

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Overview

The latest New York Times bestseller from the author of the Berlin Noir trilogy and the New York Times bestseller Field Gray brings Bernie Gunther back—to a house party from hell
 
First introduced in Philip Kerr's celebrated Berlin Noir trilogy, Bernie Gunther is an honest cop living in the most ruthless of times. Prague Fatale is Bernie's latest outing, and it's a tantalizing locked-door mystery-cum-political-thriller that's poised to build on Field Gray's success, confirming Kerr as a master of espionage literature.
            It's 1941 and Bernie is back from the Eastern Front, once again working homicide in Berlin's Kripo and answering to Reinhard Heydrich, a man he both detests and fears. Heydrich has been newly named Reichsprotector of Czechoslovakia. Tipped off that there is an assassin in his midst, he orders Bernie to join him at his country estate outside Prague, where he has invited some of the Third Reich's most odious officials to celebrate his new appointment. One of them is the would-be assassin. Bernie can think of better ways to spend a beautiful autumn weekend, but, as he says, "You don't say no to Heydrich and live."
 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kerr’s stellar eighth Bernie Gunther novel (after 2011’s Field Gray) takes the Berlin cop to Prague in October 1941, to investigate the murder of an adjutant of feared SS Gen. Reinhard Heydrich, who’s just become the Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. The morning after a drunken party attended by SS officers at Heydrich’s country estate outside Prague, the adjutant, who was shaken by what he witnessed as part of a Nazi death squad in Latvia, is found dead in a locked guestroom. Heydrich wants Gunther, suicidal himself after similar experiences in Russia, to find the adjutant’s killer fast, but how is one to identify the culprit amid a house full of professional murderers? A subplot involving the death of a foreigner run over by a train and Czech nationalists dovetails with a surprising denouement worthy of Agatha Christie. Kerr effectively works dark humor into Gunther’s weary narration, and the ending packs the wicked bite his readers have come to anticipate. Agent: Caradoc King, A.P. Watt. (Apr.)
BookPage

Kerr crafts some of the finest mystery novels in contemporary fiction, noir classics set against the multiple backdrops of WWII’s far-reaching stages . . .
BookPage

Kirkus Reviews
Good cop and confirmed Nazi-hater Bernie Gunther (Field Gray, 2011, etc.) lands in the middle of a homicidal riddle. September, 1941, and here's Bernie back in Berlin from the Eastern Front, where he's seen enough horror to preclude easy sleep for the rest of his life. More than ever he despises everything the Nazis stand for, and just as much as ever he's under their thumb. The good news is, he's out of the army and once again a Kripo homicide detective, but the job is far from what it was in the days before Germany became Hitler's, a time when Bernie relished the work and took justifiable pride in his hard-earned expertise. And of course the bad news is, Kripo is now controlled by that arch villain, and boss of the SS, Reinhard "the Hangman" Heydrich, meaning that an investigation is only what Heydrich wants it to be. Suddenly that's precisely the kind of dubious investigation Bernie finds himself conducting. From Hradschin Castle in Prague, where the newly appointed Reichsprotector holds court, has come a summons to appear immediately. It seems someone has attempted to poison Heydrich; that being the case, Bernie, the designated Reichsprotector's detective, is required to nail the brazen culprit. At the moment, 39 high-ranking Nazis are guests at the castle. Knowing how little love is lost among those prominent in Hitlerian circles, Bernie figures he's got 39 prime suspects, though it strikes him as a bit on the foolhardy side that the attempt should be made in the Hangman's own stronghold. And yet, he decides, in a house "full of murderers, anything is possible." Bernie's voice--ironic, mordantly funny, inimitable--reflects a world-weary journey. Still--and this is the entertaining heart of the matter--readers are never permitted to forget that survival is his religion.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143122845
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/26/2013
  • Series: Bernie Gunther Series , #8
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 224,729
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip Kerr

Philip Kerr is the author of seven Bernie Gunther novels. As P. B. Kerr, he is the author of the young adult series Children of the Lamp. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

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(11)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Hust How Many Lives Does Bernie Gun­ther Has?,

    Prague Fatale by Philip Kerr is a fic­tional book in the Bernie Gun­ther series. This is the eighth book in the series which brings up the ques­tion: just how many lives does Bernie Gun­ther has?

    When Bernie’s old boss Rein­hard Hey­drich of the Sicher­heits­di­enst (SD) orders him to Prague to spend the week­end in his coun­try house with senior SS and SD fig­ures, Bernie is obliged to drop every­thing and go. When a mur­der is com­mit­ted in a room that was locked from the inside, the relax­ing week­end turns hec­tic and Bernie is asked to inves­ti­gate the mystery.

    When I first read Prague Fatale by Philip Kerr I was a bit con­fused since the series appears out of chrono­log­i­cal order. The first book I read in the series, Field Gray (my thoughts), was the sev­enth and I imme­di­ately knew I’d want to read more. I actu­ally bought the col­lec­tion of the first three nov­els titled Berlin Noir but haven’t got­ten around to read­ing them yet.

    Bernie Gun­ther is the per­fect anti-hero, a tough and cyn­i­cal Berliner, he is appalled by him­self, the job he has to do, the coun­try he loves and the peo­ple he works for and with. Bernie goes through life, ago­niz­ing over past actions, try­ing to do as lit­tle dam­age as pos­si­ble, using a wry gal­lows humor as a defense strategy.

    It’s amaz­ing how many times, just in the two books I’ve read, Bernie comes close to death. The way he talks to upper Nazi offi­cials he should have ended up with a bul­let through the head, or worst, half way through the book. In the novel Alone in Berlin by Hans Fal­lada (Every Man Dies Alone in the US) which is based on a true story, the two pro­tag­o­nist get handed a death sen­tence for doing much less. How­ever they did not have Bennie’s high level Nazi con­tacts (“Vit­a­min P”), his army record (which includes some hor­rific acts) or his skills and cunning.

    The plot is skill­fully arranged, cen­ter­ing around a locked room mur­der in the sum­mer cas­tle of Rein­hard Hey­drich, Reich­spro­tec­tor of Bohemia, a fencer, musi­cian, fan of a Agatha Christie as well as one of the cru­elest and most bru­tal in Nazi Ger­many known as "The Hang­man" — and he's also Bernie’s boss. The set­ting, Prague and a cas­tle full of Nazis, is bril­liant and shows that even mon­sters tend to blend into one another in a close set­ting. Towards the end, Mr. Kerr reminds us, in gra­tu­itous detail, what the Nazis are capa­ble of and that the régime is more than just an excuse for amusement.

    More inter­est­ing than the mur­der is Bernie’s inter­nal strug­gle to keep a piece of his human­ity intact. Con­stantly strug­gling with a death wish, the pro­tag­o­nist is not afraid to speak his mind to com­mit death-by-Nazi and free him of his night­mares caused by par­tic­i­pat­ing in mass mur­ders on the East­ern front (Russia).

    The bril­liant aspect of Kerr’s books, aside from the absorb­ing yarns, is that the set­tings

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2013

    Great read

    A little slow to get going, but once it does what a story. Lots of plot lines that get wrapped together, great characters, fabulous use of language, and a great WWII history from inside Germany

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2012

    Certainly a very well researched book about this horrible period

    Certainly a very well researched book about this horrible period in history. My first exposure to the main character (Bernie Gunther) who taught everyone a lesson on "survival", among the horror and injustices of the Third Reich. With a little sarcasm/ humor added here and there, mostly from Bernie, it was much easier to get through this story. The book certainly keeps one turning the pages, if you have the stomach for what happened in those years during WWII. Bernie certainly was a likeable character, even though he sacraficed his late love in life for his own. Highly recommended reading for those still interested in this subject.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Once again Phillip Kerr provides us a fascinating look at life i

    Once again Phillip Kerr provides us a fascinating look at life in Germany (and Prague) during the Nazi years. His Commissar BernieGunther is an honest detective in these trying times, but his mouth often has him at odds with those who could end his life.
    Obviously they don't, or we wouldn't have so many excellent Gunther novels. The synopsis of the story is provided above. You can tell that I am a fan by the five stars. If you read one, you feel like reading another one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 5, 2013

    check it out!

    If you are a lover of the Bernie series you will not miss another adventure!

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  • Posted December 19, 2012

    Great read! Found this book by accident and very glad I did. Ver

    Great read! Found this book by accident and very glad I did. Very mesmerizing and entertaining detective tale told against a backdrop of WWII and Nazi atrocities. It certainly has piqued my interest in reading the earlier7 books of the series. What I find particulalry appealing is the central character. He sounds like Nelson DeMilles John Corey tranported from NYC to Berlin...a very cynical, hard, but humorous man with a nice dose of hidden humanity. Well worth your time.

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  • Posted August 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Bernie Gunther is quite the character...not very happy in Berlin

    Bernie Gunther is quite the character...not very happy in Berlin where
    he is currently living and working. He gets assigned to work for a man
    he despises, Reinhard Heydrich as his bodyguard. trouble follows and
    Bernie must untangle himself and others from Heydrich and try and find a
    way to live with himself in this new Germany... The way Philip talks
    about Germany makes you feel as though you are right there with him, he
    gives Bernie language unlike any I have ever read before...perfect for
    the time period. I came into this series on the 8th Bernie Gunther
    book, I typicaly try to read a series in order but having said that I
    don't feel like I lost anything. I think I was able to understand the
    book with out having read the previous ones

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2012

    I have read all of Kerr's Gunther books, and this is by far his

    I have read all of Kerr's Gunther books, and this is by far his best

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2012

    Nice

    I heard Philip Kerr interviewed on NPR saying he liked to put normal people in extraordinary circumstances. That's one of the things I look for in a book, and Kerr delivers an interestingly twisting mystery set in Nazi-era Berlin and Prague, showing that setting from the viewpoint of someone trying to cope with his reality while caught up in circumstances beyond his control.

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  • Posted July 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    best book I've read in eons

    Engrossing...couldn't put it down for one moment...and had to actually go to the dictionary a few times which hasn't happened in years. A must read for anyone who is tempted by this topic. Can see Bergman and Bogart doing the movie....

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  • Posted July 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I find it hard to rate this novel. Philip Kerr brilliantly depic

    I find it hard to rate this novel. Philip Kerr brilliantly depicts the horrors of living under the Third Reich and the struggles of those who didn’t buy into the Nazi agenda.. However, Bernie Gunther’s inability to change the world around him makes for discouraging reading. The plot is intriguing but there is no sense of redemption for Gunther when it ends. Would Heydrich and the Nazis really have tolerated Bernie’s insubordinate attitude? The Berlin Noir trilogy had more action than this novel, the first one of Kerr’s return to this series I have read.

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  • Posted June 12, 2012

    best of the series

    well written, outstanding story mixing real history and fiction together. It has excellant humor while telling a sad part of human history.graet ending

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  • Posted May 24, 2012

    I was a Philip Kerr fan years ago when I read A Philosophical In

    I was a Philip Kerr fan years ago when I read A Philosophical Investigation and The Grid, but I couldn't get interested in Esau (or Berlin Noir) and stopped reading his books. I am still not sure I will continue reading the Bernie Gunther series since the part of this book I really liked was the "locked room mystery" and I was not especially interested in Arianne since I thought it was pretty obvious from the beginning that she was playing Bernie and somehow sarcasm and sex didn't seem to mix (although I guess they should in noir). Certainly Heydrich is a fascinating character, and I was sorry to see him assassinated. I thought the Bernie-Heydrich scenes were the best in the book, but after the murderer was revealed, I thought the rest of the book was a rather uninteresting anti-climax with its details of water-boarding in Nazi Germany. Perhaps had I cared about Arianne more I would have been more upset. I remain a fan, but my opinion remains that Kerr is sometimes fantastic and sometimes tedious and too obvious in playing for the reader's interest. So I would definitely recommend this book for the excellent noir atmosphere and the "mystery" plotting, but I am not sure it will inspire me to read more of Kerr's work.

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  • Posted May 19, 2012

    Very good read

    It was an interesting time for me to read this because I have a girl from Prague living with us right now! She is very knowledgeable about Prague history and felt this story stayed very close to being accurate regarding country and buildings. The story line was excellant also.

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  • Posted March 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Ask me again when the book comes out on April 4th. I am looking forward to this book since I'm a big,big Bernie Gunther fan and Phillip Kerr hasn't disappointed me yet.

    See Headline.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 13, 2014

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    Posted May 24, 2013

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