Prague Fatale (Bernie Gunther Series #8)

Prague Fatale (Bernie Gunther Series #8)

3.8 22
by Philip Kerr
     
 

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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.

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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.)
From the Publisher
"The allure of these novels is that Bernie is such an interesting creation, a Chandleresque knight errant caught in insane historical surroundings." -John Powers, Fresh Air, NPR

German private detective Bernie Gunther would have been respected by Philip Marlowe and the two of them would have enjoyed sitting down at a bar and talking. -Jonathan Ames, Salon.com

"Prague Fatale is classic Philip Kerr, a first-person noir detective story worthy of Dashiell Hammett or Raymond Chandler in every regard, seamlessly transplanted to war-era Europe. Every time I finish-another Gunther novel, I think, "This is as good as it gets." Then inevitably, the next one comes along and is even better!"-Bruce Tierney, BookPage.com

"Bernie Gunther, the indomitable Berliner at the heart of this great series, is a man pummeled by history. . . . The great strength of Field Gray is Kerr's overpowering portrait of the war's horrors, [and] the glue holding it all together is Bernie himself, our battered, defiant German Everyman."-Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post

"A wily if unreliable narrator, Bernie may be forgiven for holding his cards so close to his chest as he tries to do the right thing in so many wrong places. Shades of the moral ambiguity of some of Graham Greene's and John le Carre's more memorable characters are here, as is the spirit of Raymond Chandler's knight-errant, Philip Marlowe. Kerr's ability to blend the elements of mystery and spy thriller into a satisfying package makes Field Gray the best in a long line of great entries in the series."-Paula L. Woods, Los Angeles Times

"In Prague Fatale, [Bernie Gunther] is back in the early days of the Second World War, dealing with a case that combines espionage, terrorism and a locked-room mystery [. . .] Philip Kerr does his usual fine job of setting the scenes and portraying the personalities of the era.- His Nazis are note-perfect creations, as are the other characters, fictional and historical, of Second World War-era Europe, all of it flavoured by the wisecracking, tough-talking Gunther, who has been called the Sam Spade of Germany.- Kerr knows his modern German history, and is gifted at storytelling, and Gunther is a dark anti-hero for the ages."-H. J. Kirchhoff, The Globe and Mail

"[Philip Kerr] is an absolute master of the genre."-The Courier-Journal

"[Prague Fatale] is clever and compelling, proving once again that the Bernie Gunther books are, by a long chalk, the best crime series around today." –The Daily Beast

"Inside this mesmerizing novel, set mainly in a country house outside Prague, is a tantalizing locked-door murder mystery that will thrill fans of Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther novels."-Carol Memmott, USA Today

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 Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/26/2013
Series:
Bernie Gunther Series, #8
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
231,337
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Inside this mesmerizing novel, set mainly in a country house outside Prague, is a tantalizing locked-door murder mystery that will thrill fans of Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther novels."—Carol Memmott, USA Today

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