Prague Fatale (Bernie Gunther Series #8)

Prague Fatale (Bernie Gunther Series #8)

by Philip Kerr

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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: 248,142
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Philip Kerr is the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Bernie Gunther novels, two of which—Field Gray and The Lady from Zagreb—were finalists for the Edgar® Award for Best Novel. Kerr has also won several Shamus Awards and the British Crime Writers’ Association Ellis Peters Award for Historical Crime Fiction. As P. B. Kerr, he is the author of the much-loved young adult fantasy series Children of the Lamp.

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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Prague Fatale 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
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
Otisfield More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
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.
spaceowl on LibraryThing 17 days ago
A very dark addition to the Bernie Gunther series, this book (completely set in WW2) sees him in Berlin and Prague, working for Reinhardt Heydrich, ably portrayed here as an almost demonic intellegence. There is some entertaining dialogue between Gunther and the Nazi overlord which almost justifies the price of the book on its own, and while it lacks the overall quality of the previous book, [[Field Grey]] it is a strong, entertaining and chilling detective story.
cbl_tn on LibraryThing 23 days ago
In the fall of 1941, Berlin policeman Bernie Gunther is called upon to investigate a locked room murder at a country ¿house party¿ outside Prague. While borrowing plot elements and setting from crime novels from the Golden Era of detective fiction, this is anything but a cozy mystery. The guests are all high ranking officials in the Nazi party. Each one has already proven himself capable of murder through participation in torture and the mass murder of Jews.Gunther doesn't try very hard to disguise his loathing of the Nazi party. However, he doesn't seem to consider himself morally superior to the Nazis. He loathes himself as much as he does anyone else. Even though he is not a party member, his superiors are, and he has been forced to carry out unspeakable acts that have driven him to the brink of suicide.The book presents an interesting view of Nazi-era Germany. While Gunther airs his anti-Nazi views more outspokenly than other characters in the novel, he isn't the only disaffected German character. Most of the characters who show signs of disapproval of the Nazi regime also seem resigned to its power.I've been avoiding this series because I was afraid the atmosphere and tone would be too heavy for me. However, the book's dark humor and my knowledge of the eventual downfall of the Nazi regime kept the book from being too depressing to read.This review is based on an advance reader's edition provided by the publisher through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.
susanamper on LibraryThing 23 days ago
With Fatale in the title, you know there's going to be a dangerous woman involved. It's 1941 and Gunther's nemesis Reinhard Heydrich is hosting a gathering to celebrate his appointment as Reichsprotector of Czechoslovakia. Soon after the festivities begin, Heydrich's young adjutant is murdered. Heydrich summons Bernie Gunther to solve the case. Gunther tells Heydrich he will be look at everyone and everything and if Heydrich doesn't like it he can stuff it. Heydrich accepts the terms. The wartime atmosphere is pitch perfect, and there are a couple of different plot threads that come together at the end in a surprising twist.
brookeott on LibraryThing 23 days ago
Philip Kerr has done it again. His novels, set in various periods of time before, during and after WWII, provide an insight into the lives of ordinary people coping with a reality that seems unreal, both in retrospect and in its day. He is able to interject his detective, Bernie Gunther, into situations with historical figures without it seeming to be an artificial ploy. This novel seems to hang together even better than his previous ones. I remain a big fan.
sblock on LibraryThing 23 days ago
Berlin, 1941. The Nazis claim the Germans are on the verge of taking Russia but Bernie Gunther, police investigator for the Kripo, isn't buying it. Berliners are struggling with shortages of food, petrol and cigarettes, and the only thing that keeps Bernie from eating is gun is the realization that the Jews have it much worse and somehow carry on. Gunther becomes embroiled in a mystery when SS head Reinhard Heydrich, convinced one of his minions is plotting to kill him, summons him to Prague to work as his bodyguard. Before long, one of the officers ends up dead in a locked room, a scenario right out of Agatha Christie. Philip Kerr has been compared to John LeCarre, and that's both a recommendation and a caution: readers looking for a fast-paced book with lots of action should go elsewhere. What Kerr delivers, though, is prose so lovely that I sometimes felt compelled to re-read sentences several times. The mystery is almost beside the point, the atmosphere, and attention to detail, is the reward for reading this book.
zmagic69 on LibraryThing 23 days ago
I had only read one other book in this series featuring Bernie Gunther "A Quiet Flame" so the series is still new for me, but I must say the books are very good. I love historical fiction and the author Phillip Kerr does an excellent job. This book is a lot like an old faashion "who done it" with some surprise twists and turns along the way. My only complaint is that I doubt a police inspector in Nazi Germany would have been as indisceet as Bernies is with his disliike of the government, SS, and the Gestopo. I think he would have been haulled in and sent to the front, tortured or just exucuted. Other than that this is a good book. I look forward to reading other books in this series, both previous titles and new ones.
sherman1951 on LibraryThing 23 days ago
I¿m a big fan of Bernie Gunther. For the uninitiated, Gunther is Philip Kerr¿s smart talking and smart police detective caught up in the environs of Nazi Germany. Kerr¿s latest book, Prague Fatale does not disappoint. This story takes place in 1941-42 and we find Gunther back on the Kripo (Berlin¿s criminal investigative department) and assigned to protect SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich from an alleged assassination plot. Of course, none of Kerr¿s novels are as simple as this. Murder, international spies, and murder again leads Gunther to an unwelcome conclusion about the who, what, and why of the murders and whether or not Heydrich was complicate in them. Kerr provides a chilling description of Germany at the height of Nazi power and the plans of the SS in relocating large segments of the population. Gunther is a flawed cop, but his flaws make him real and this story top notch. I can highly recommend this latest return of Bernie Gunther.
Liz1564 on LibraryThing 23 days ago
Bernie Gunther is a complicated character. In 1942 Berlin he is a member of the SS who hates Nazis. He has witnessed and taken part in horrendous events against humanity and what keeps him sane is the promise to himself that he can commit suicide. Still, he hangs on because he is, first and foremost, a police detective who manages to do some good to protect the ordinary Berliners who exist in the madness of Hitler's Germany. Bernie cares that young women are being raped during blackouts and old people are starving. He despises and shows a dangerous disrespect to his superiors every chance he gets. It is just because he doesn't give a damn about whose feet he treads on that he is chosen by his hated superior SS Reichsprotector Reinhard Heydrich to discover who is making threats against Heydrich's life. Heydrich, the head of the SS in Prague, orders Bernie to his country estate outside Prague to uncover the would-be assassin. Gathered at the isolated house are all the officers Heydrich suspects want him dead. Bernie reluctantly follows the plan and goes to Prague, taking with him a young woman who he had rescued in the blackout and with whom he is forming a tentative relationship. But even before Bernie can surrepticiously study the suspects, a gang of Nazi officers in rank just below the likes of Himmler and Goebels, a crime does occur. Heydrich's young adjutant is found murdered in his bedroom, a perfect, classic locked-room mystery. Who would want to kill the troubled young man? Or was Heydrich the intended target all along? And why does Bernie have a gut feeling that things are not really as they appear and that he is being manipulated? The tortured detective finally can do only what he does best, solve the crime and expose the murderer. This is a fascinating and disturbing mystery. Kerr uses real historical figures as the secondary, and in a few cases, primary characters. In an afterward, he lists what actually happened to each of the men in the country house outside of Prague. Phillip Kerr has written eight Bernie Gunther novels. He has not written them in chronological order so this novel, the first one I read, is a good place to meet Bernie Gunther, a truly memorable character.
ORTeacher on LibraryThing 23 days ago
Philip Kerr's new Bernie Gunther book, "Prague Fatale", resounds with the dialogue and commentary that brought me to read his series in the first place. "I had never considered suicide by Gestapo before..." This is an engrossing book that moves quickly with well-drawn characters and vividly described scenes. I had read his previous book, "Field Gray", and didn't care for it as much so was well pleased to see him return to a book more in keeping with his earlier works focusing on an intriguing mystery with the addition of war time complications. A hearty recommendation to any who have enjoyed Bernie in the past.
ijustgetbored on LibraryThing 23 days ago
This book definitely deserves the "noir" designation of the "Berlin Noir" series name. It's not a good time in Berlin, it's not a good time on the Eastern front, and it's not a good time in Prague. Things are horribly bad for the Jews, and dark hints are everywhere as to how much worse they're going to get. Rohm is dead, and Paragraph 175 is in full effect. Our (anti)hero Bernie Gunther has been pressed into service first as a bodyguard, then as a detective, by Heydrich, currently in Prague. These clouds do not have silver linings, apart from the sharp dialog that keeps this from ever becoming a slog.Gunther finds himself in a castle full of SS higher-ups when one of their own is found dead in a classic locked-room mystery-- score one for putting a new twist on an old genre. He's still got a previous case of a dead foreign worker with possible spy connections on his mind from Berlin when he's thrust into this. Heydrich seems to be calling all the shots and seems to almost enjoy letting Bernie inflict his sneering anti-Party sentiments on these old guard members; Heydrich is cunning, impossible to read, and infathomable. Kerr doesn't attempt to humanize him or psychoanalyze him, and more the good that-- it would have wrecked the novel. The sense all along is that Bernie is being played for higher political means (and Bernie is well aware of that), but the number of mysteries and plots that are interwoven here are so myriad and complex that unteasing them is quite a puzzle; it's mystery on top of mystery, and you're not even sure what the core one is. It's not too much to keep up with, though, and doesn't get out of hand; even the large cast of characters remains remarkably distinct. Plot lines and people may be drawn in a crystal clear way, but Kerr plays the cards of the mysteries close to his chest.The atmosphere evoked in this novel is extremely disquieting, for all the reasons alluded to above and more. Needless to say, in a novel set in early 1940s Germany, no one is expecting anything lighthearted. But Kerr evokes, on an individual level and on a national level, the sense of the storm clounds gathered over Germany and its conquered territories and the people who were undergoing mass persecution or suffering as a result of the war. The novel is extremely bleak and a potent reminder of where fanatic nationalism leads.
berthirsch on LibraryThing 23 days ago
Prague Fatale by Philip Kerr is a page turner suspense story.Despite never having read a Bernie Gunther novel (this is the 8th in the series) the reader can jump right in with both feet. Whatever background story is needed to tune in to Gunther¿s humor, insubordination, independence and cynicism is quickly and deftly portrayed by the author, Kerr.One cannot but admire Gunther as he is drawn into a web of Nazi SS officers when he is called upon by Reichsprotector Reinhard Heydrich to solve the murder of one his adjutants. Among the suspects is an array of Nazi criminals, sadists and backstabbers.Assisted by a German/Czech policeman, Kurt Kahlo (every good detective needs a sidekick), Commissar Gunther interrogates the suspects in an estate outside Prague. Known to be the best homicide detective from Berlin he uses his interview skills and deductive powers to follow the trail of evidence presented to him; all while detesting his task, the men he answers to and the suspects he interrogates, often reflecting on his dismal situation and whether he should just commit suicide and end it all. Racked with guilt of his own crimes committed while soldiering in the ¿east¿ he detests his situation, his acts and the country that bore him. A failed hero is an ingenuous literary tool in the hands of a master and Philip Kerr is clearly in command of the story, the characters, and the suspense as it unfolds. By the end of the book the reader will be fully satisfied with the outcome. The bad guys get their just reward and the hero goes home to his own unresolved conflicts.Having now read this 8th installment I will surely look through his earlier books. With a strong interest in Argentina I will probably choose, A Quiet Flame, set in Buenos Aires after the war ends.
JBD1 on LibraryThing 23 days ago
This was my first Bernie Gunther book, so I'm sure by starting in the middle of the series I've missed some key bits of backstory and so forth. I'm going to have to go back and catch up now, I think. A well-paced page-turner, this "Berlin noir" story has Gunther detached to Prague as Reinhard Heydrich's personal detective. When one of Heydrich's own aides is found dead in a locked room, Gunther is charged with solving the case ... but naturally all is not what it appears.Just as fair warning, the violence in the book does get rather graphic near the end, so be warned about that. Kerr's able to pack quite a few twists and turns in (some of which the reader sees coming a mile away, but some of which are entirely unexpected), and I enjoyed the shoutouts to Agatha Christie's detective stories.
DebbieLE on LibraryThing 23 days ago
I'll start off by saying that I enjoyed this book. If possible I would actually give it 2.5 Smiley instead of 2. I have not read any previous Bernie Gunther novels but did not feel as if I had to to read this book. There was obviously some history I was missing between Heydrich and Gunther, but it did not really detract from the story. The mystery was an interesting one with some good twists and turns. There is also a side romance involving Gunther and a woman named Arianne. However that is all it was, a side story. I didn't feel that it added much to the story though it did serve as a means to help tie up some loose ends.This story kept me interested but not "on the edge of my chair" interested. I also felt that the story was a little uneven in it's pace. With that said I would definitely say that this book was worth my time and I would be willing to try reading something else by Philip Kerr.
jfurshong on LibraryThing 23 days ago
Philip Kerr has one of the more interesting noir detective series going. Bernie Gunther is a private detective in pre-WWII Berlin who is often forced into working with and for the governing Nazi party in order solve several murders, disappearances and assorted crimes. Somehow he survives the ongoing power struggles and frequent double-crossings with his skin intact. This early portion of Bernie¿s career is covered in Kerr¿s well-known ¿Berlin Noir Trilogy¿.Prague Fatale is the 8th in the series and takes place in 1941. Bernie is back working for ¿Kripo¿, the Kriminalpolizei, attempting to solve the mysterious death of a railroad worker. In the process he stops an attack on a young woman, who curiously has a lot of information about various characters in the Nazi hierarchy and the Berlin underworld. Bernie falls for this woman, Arianne, and soon he is relying on her contacts and information to solve his unfolding criminal case.But, as has happened in previous installments in the series, Bernie¿s skills as a dogged detective and political tightrope walker, come to the attention of the Nazi higher-ups. The newly appointed Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich, has commandeered a palatial home in the country outside Prague (stolen from Jews) and is settling in to begin applying his iron control over the people of what is now the Czech Republic. Bernie is brought along by Heydrich to find out who among the guests at the celebration of his new appointment is involved in a plot to kill him. Bernie secretly brings along Arianne and installs her in a hotel in Prague. A sort of Agatha Christie-like country house murder mystery is soon set in motion when a member of Heydrich¿s staff is murdered and Bernie has to find the murderer among Heydrich¿s many high-powered guests.Kerr skillfully inserts his fictional detective into real-life historical events. Bernie continues to feel disdain for Nazi principles and practices while somehow managing to retain Heydrich¿s confidence and make progress in solving the murder. But, Arianne soon emerges as a key player in the intrigue, deception and mayhem that follows this murder. Kerr once again manages to create a very vivid depiction of the nightmarish world inside the Nazi vortex and brings plot lines and characters (real and fictional) to a very satisfying conclusion.¿Prague Fatale¿ actually occurs before the opening events of ¿Field Gray¿, the previous novel in this series. But in each succeeding novel Kerr uses time shifts to fill in chunks of Bernie Gunther¿s career continuum. This newest addition is a strong and welcome addition to one of the best noir series going.
Risa15 on LibraryThing 23 days ago
My first encounter with Bernie Gunther was Field Gray, a book sent by Library Thing. Bernie is a likeable flawed character. He is a policeman in Berlin during the Nazi era and detests the Regime but does what he has to do to stay alive.He rescues a woman from what he thinks is an attempted rape and she becomes his girlfriend. Although he has antipathy for Reinhard Heydrich, a high ranking Nazi official, he is summoned to become his bodyguard when Heydrich is sent to Czechoslovakia. He takes his new girlfriend, Arianne with him to Prague and leaves her in a hotel while he stays with Heydrich in a sumptuous country house some miles away. Also living there are a number of Nazi Officials. A murder is committed in a locked room and Bernie is asked by Heydrich to use his detective skills to solve the crime. He takes pleasure in questioning all these Nazi's since he has finds them all contemptible. He also learns the secret of why Arianne accompanied him to Prague. This is a series well worth your time if you want to get a picture of how life was during the Nazi regime.
etrainer on LibraryThing 23 days ago
I've read the three novels in Berlin Noir. This one seemed different. A neat twist at the end that took me back to books I read more than 40 years ago was a nice surprise. But in the end not as satisfying as I would have liked. That being said, still glad I read it. Always fascinated by stories about the Nazis.
stevesmits on LibraryThing 23 days ago
Not being familiar with the Bernie Gunther series I thought after the early pages of Prague Fatale that this might be just a police procedural novel set in the Nazi war years. While there's certainly nothing not enjoyable about a police story, this book is far more than that. Kerr entwines his cynical detective Bernie Gunther with the high eschalon of Nazi officials under the command of the notorious Heydrich. Without giving away the story's details, I can say that Kerr deftly combines a murder mystery with a spy thriller and cleverly uses historical figures to help drive the plot and action. Gunther's distate for the Nazi regime is clear, and he rather dangerously expresses his disdain openly to his Nazi bosses. His bluntness combined with his usefulness to them probably saves him from prison or worse as the Nazi's were notoriously intolerant of criticism.Many of the characters in the novel are real figures from the period and, in addition to being a riveting story, Ker throws light on the creulty and brutality of the Nazi reign.
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glassshoe More than 1 year ago
If you are a lover of the Bernie series you will not miss another adventure!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago