A Man without Breath (Bernie Gunther Series #9)

A Man without Breath (Bernie Gunther Series #9)

by Philip Kerr
3.9 25

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A Man without Breath (Bernie Gunther Series #9) by Philip Kerr

From the national bestselling author of Prague Fatale, a powerful new thriller that returns Bernie Gunther, our sardonic Berlin cop, to the Eastern Front.
Berlin, March, 1943. A month has passed since the stunning defeat at Stalingrad. Though Hitler insists Germany is winning the war, commanders on the ground know better. Morale is low, discipline at risk. Now word has reached Berlin of a Red massacre of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest near Smolensk. If true, the message it would send to the troops is clear: Fight on or risk certain death. For once, both the Wehrmacht and Propaganda Minister Goebbels want the same thing: irrefutable evidence of this Russian atrocity. To the Wehrmacht, such proof will soften the reality of its own war crimes in the eyes of the victors. For Goebbels, such proof could turn the tide of war by destroying the Alliance, cutting Russia off from its western supply lines.

Both parties agree that the ensuing investigation must be overseen by a professional trained in sifting evidence and interrogating witnesses. Anything that smells of incompetence or tampering will defeat their purposes. And so Bernie Gunther is dispatched to Smolensk, where truth is as much a victim of war as those poor dead Polish officers.
Smolensk, March, 1943. Army Group Center is an enclave of Prussian aristocrats who have owned the Wehrmacht almost as long as they’ve owned their baronial estates, an officer class whose families have been intermarrying for generations. The wisecracking, rough-edged Gunther is not a good fit. He is, after all, a Berlin bull. But he has a far bigger concern than sharp elbows and supercilious stares, for somewhere in this mix is a cunning and savage killer who has left a trail of bloody victims.

This is no psycho case. This is a man with motive enough to kill and skills enough to leave no trace of himself. Bad luck that in this war zone, such skills are two-a-penny. Somehow Bernie must put a face to this killer before he puts an end to Bernie.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101621097
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/16/2013
Series: Bernie Gunther Series , #9
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 77,629
File size: 864 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

PHILIP KERR is the author of eight previous Bernie Gunther novels. Bestselling Field Gray was nominated for the 2012 Edgar Award for Best Novel. Kerr is also the much-loved author of the fantasy series Children of the Lamp. He lives in London.

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A Man Without Breath 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous 9 months ago
A good combination of a police procedural from a unique viewpoint and an historic event, the slaughter at Katyn Woods.
bobsocean More than 1 year ago
A bit of a disappointment after reading "Field Gray" and "Prague Fatale". Bernie Gunther continues to be an interesting character, and certainly had his hands full in this one. But, the main mission he was on in trying to uncover the tragic happening in the Katyn woods got a little sidetracked with other activity requiring his attention. A little disjointed it seemed at times, and finally saved at the end with the discovery of the real culprit. Not a bad read, but certainly not a page turner for me.
ebooks18 More than 1 year ago
Philip Kerr has done it again. Another terrific Bernie Gunther mystery / historical fiction. I've loved each book in this series and hope to have new ones to read regularly.
Ronrose More than 1 year ago
If you think it's hard for a detective to find a killer today in a city like New York or Los Angeles, imagine what it would be like for an investigator in the German Army in the middle of World War II deep in Nazi occupied Russia. A large portion of the German Army has been crushed by Russian troops at Stalingrad. Tens of thousands are dying on both sides of the war as Bernie Gunther, ex-cop from Berlin, now working for the Army, is called in to investigate the mass murder of over 4,000 Polish officers, who were once prisoners of the Russians near Smolensk. If the Germans can prove the Russian Communist forces have ruthlessly executed these men, it may provide a badly needed public relations coup for the Nazi's, glossing over some of their crimes. Gunther is a loyal German, but not a member of the Nazi party. He has to walk a tightrope between the facts and the results that his superiors want. Any facts are hard to come by as everyone involved, both German and Russian, are looking out for themselves. More often than not lying to keep themselves out of trouble and trying to stay alive. This includes Gunther, who has gotten in trouble before over his less than enthusiastic views of the Nazi's. As if this weren't enough, two German soldiers have been murdered. Their throats sliced open with surgical precision. Gunther is the only competent investigating officer, in the middle of the on going international incident, available to track down their murderer. This is a good blend of fact and fiction, full of action and suspense. Author Philip Kerr's series on the Berlin cop, Bernie Gunther, is a great addition to detective fiction. Highly recommended for those who enjoy hard hitting detective fiction with a touch of noir.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Trying to keep order in middle of a war should have humor for relief but too heavy a style for enjoyment one murderer out of hundreds makes little difference but the personal must not be allowed to upstage the state for wwii reenactors
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting and different perspective of WWII.  Great characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hubbabubba1 More than 1 year ago
Interesting to read a mystery when the lead character is a German and has to deal with the politics of the Nazis at the time. Quite a different twist on a mystery.
SM7 More than 1 year ago
I did not care for his style and had a difficult time continuing to read. I finally just stopped reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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drayce More than 1 year ago
Phillip Kerr's books are so full of history,and he makes his detective stories revolve around the most interesting subject matter.I thoroughly enjoy this one.
JerseyJoe More than 1 year ago
This is an exceptional novel ! It's the first Bernie Gunther novel I've read and I will definitely read all of the others . It is history and entertainment wrapped in a terrific read . Wow !
Beet5hovin More than 1 year ago
A fascinating read' saying that, I should remind readers that the Wehrmacht (Make War) was thoroughly despised and hated in all occupied countries. The Nazis were worse but only by degree. The Wehrmacht was just as hard and cruel as any army in modern history. I do know, many of my immediate family were engaged in WWII and a close friend lost his family to the Holocaust.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rush41 More than 1 year ago
I lived in Berlin from 1960 to 1963 as a Mormon missionary. I was in East Berlin on Sunday, August 13, 1961. The German border police and the Soviet infantry built a wall 30 miles through the center of Berlin in essentially one night. I came to know and love Berliners. I was on the street with almost two million of them when John F Kennedy riveted them with his now famous: Ich bin ein Berliner. Berliners have always been more skeptical and possessive of a wry sense of humor than Germans, or other Europeans. That was true before the war, and was accentuated by the Soviet occupation after the war. Here, Phillip Kerr captures that essential Berliner character in the person of Bernie Gunther. At times, as you read this book, you will wonder if someone could be so brash in the face of the evils of Nazism. I think it is a fair question, and my answer, having known many Berliners as good friends, my answer is it is not only possible, I believe it was prevalent beneath the surface during the era of the triumphant Nazis. I recommend this to all those who enjoy a hard bitten detective story with an entertaining and compelling figure at its heart.
silencedogoodreturns More than 1 year ago
another entertaining Bernie Gunther novel. As with the previous novel, this one goes back into the past, where our intrepid hero is working for the German Army War Crimes Bureau when Polish army bodies are found in Katyn Wood/Forest. Bernie is sent by Joseph Goebbels to help build an international case showing the horrors the Soviet NKVD has unleashed by killing almost 5000 Polish senior NCOs and officer POW's. Along the way he meets a lady friend, has shots fired at him, and as usual, manages to piss off most of the German High Command and those he works around. If found this to be interesting both for its historical notes and for the usual cynical but ultimatley very human main character. However, I did not find it as "deep" as most of the earlier novels about the detective from Berlin. Given the way that Field Grey ended, I'm not sure author Kerr can continue moving the series forward, and will have to simply be content with fleshing out episodes in the past. Still, good readng.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Only one review and its a plot spoiler. So much for a true review where a real reader tells if they liked it or not. No, we get a wannabe author who has to take someone elses work, rewrite as a review and claim it as their own. These rude, inconsiderate plot spoilers need to be fined and banned from posting these plot spoilers.