©2008 Philip Kerr; (P)2008 Books on Tape
"The brutality and corruption of Nazi Germany serve as the backdrop for this impressive debut mystery novel. Scottish-born Kerr re-creates the period accurately and with verve; the novel reeks of the sordid decade that saw Hitler's rise to power." (Publishers Weekly)
"Echoes of Raymond Chandler, but better on his vivid and well-researched detail than the master." (Evening Standard, London)
In 20 years of listening to audio books I would rate this as one of the top five I have heard. Kerr's story is wonderful and I won't give a precis of it here. I had read the books many years ago, and as I had loved them I was interested to see how they would translate into audio form; the result is a masterpiece. John Lee's delivery is superb! His tone, inflection, voices and characterization are exceptional. I can not recommend this book too highly. I looked forward with great anticipation to the daily commute to and from work so as to dive back in.
This is a new take on the detective story for me. The setting pre ww11 Germany - Berlin here. It is gritty and graphic but very compelling. The historical truisms you will recognize. It is dark - All the books are dark as they should be when dealing with Nazis. Bernie makes a change from my usual British detectives and John Lee the narrator is superb. I followed John Lee from Folletts books and look where he brought me into a whole new world of mystery.
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
I have liked some of Philip Kerr's other books, so tried this 1936-noir legal drama. It was interesting because it was set in the period preceding WWII and specifically showcased how Berlin and the rest of Germany slowly but surely succumbed to the evil forces of Hitler. It was exceedingly slow and failed, to my way of thinking, to create much mystery at all as the story unfolded.
Much of the story seemed far beyond plausability. A former vice cop working as a private detective had little experience with fire arms, kept making rather dubious decisions and generally, bungled his way to the conclusion of the story, beautiful girl at side.
I didn't totally dislike this book, but can't rave about it either. It's a noir novel and for me, a "meh" read.
Phillip Kerr is actually a french female author who sets all of her stories in Hitler's time. Through her novels you get to know first hand the rise of the nazis and eventually their fall following WWII. Her protaganist Bernie Gunther is a fairly typical, hardboiled private investigator but the historical details raise the stories well beyond their genre.
I found myself wandering off while trying to follow the story. The ending was really disappointing.. somewhat like a stereo typical foreign film that does not know how to end.
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