©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)
I have never read/listened to a story about a private investigator in pre WWII Germany. Sort of Sam Spade meets Hitler. The story is well put together and I thought the narration done well. Not all characters are resolved in the book so I will have to see if it comes up in the next installment.
Philip Kerr's use of language is unique, creative and beautiful. I have never read a detective novel where the author could turn a phrase as sharply.
At times, yes.
The characters were supposed to be German, but the reader was British. While I can see the value in using a non-American accent, it was distracting to hear British accents speaking as Nazi's and using Germanic names and phrases.
Every so often Kerr would use a phrase that would have me laughing out loud - even though it really isn't a comedy.
I would never think someone could write a detective novel where 1930's Germany was a backdrop - where the Nazi's were NOT the main characters. Kerr does so masterfully. And in doing so, we get a better feel for the life of the citizens of Germany during the Nazi rise to power.
Philip Kerr brings the noir genre -- think Sam Spade, Red Harvest, and the Continental Op -- to Berlin in the mid-thirties. Under the boot of Nazism a cynical private eye hunts for missing persons -- usually missing owing to the activities of the Gestapo or the SS. The writing is a bit too derivative of Chandler, with the tough-guy similes, but the portrayal of how ordinary people dealt with the terrible time they lived in is very interesting. It's kind of the bad guys' (i.e., German) side of the world Alan Furst writes so brilliantly about: the coming of WWII, but in this case with people who are not actually involved in the war's coming.The story is a fairly generic tough detective caper, but the way it's told is quite good. John Lee does a nice job of the world-weary detective, and all-in-all I liked it.
Move over Sherlock here comes Bernie! A real gritty true to the genre of PI Noir. Tough and smart a real man in a world going mad and dealing with the decay of a society and the terrible slide into Nazi Germany as the back drop.
Mind wandered more than usual. I like Deighton and Ambler..Silva and LeCarre. This was simple character dev but hard to follow. Too many characters and was not sure who was who. Maybe the book was too short at 9hrs. Found it hard to care about and like John Lee reading Follett better. Maybe it just takes some getting used to as by the end, I thought I might try the second book. Love the era/genre.
Writer & daddy.
Yes, I think this series would appeal to readers of all shapes and sizes.
The historical elements flow so well. Great mystery. Great characterizations.
Yes, more in this particular series. I really love his voice, especially for this Kerr series.
And if you dig history, this one's steeped in deftly tossed in asides. I was just in Berlin and it was great to follow Bernie with a map through neighborhoods I had familiarity with now. Berlin is such a tinderbox of historical allusion and Kerr does a terrific job of mining those diamonds, "bells", for this series. And anything that John Lee reads goes from good to engrossing with those first gravely syllables.
Plot had many surprising twists. Having traveled personally to many of the areas mentioned, you can tell the writer does his homework.
Mr. Lee is a very good reader, except he sometimes mispronounces German words for locations, people's names, etc. As long as you are setting your books in German locales, you should use German - and not Americanized - pronunciations.
Philip Kerr is a darned good mystery writer. John Lee is a very good reader (just needs to work on his pronunciations of German words)!
I could wile away the hours...
The "schtick" here is placing the hard-boiled detective in the midst of SS officers, concentration camps, etc. while trying to solve a double murder. And, it gets better and better as it goes.
In the top 25%
Gunther. He is irreverent, someone you can relate to emotionally, given his circumstances and the times he lived in.He is not afraid of himself.
Too many to select one specifically.
Against all odds, a mystery is solved.
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