©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)
This is a very entertaining story. The hero is a classic 1930s detective, the story moves nicely along, but the best part was the setting -- Germany 75 years ago. It was completely captivating.
Philip Kerr is one of the very best. Think literary thriller (like John Le Carre) combined with a big dash of hard boiled attitude (like Raymond Carver). The detective navigates an increasingly Nazi-fied Berlin, trying to stay below the Nazi radar while maintaining a private stance of utter contempt for the rising regime. The story has plenty of twists and plenty of turns, but the atmosphere and characters are the real spell-binders. Highly recommended.
Narration is great.
I love a good mystery or thriller, and I love any novel set in the WWII era. And John Lee is perhaps my favorite narrator. So this book seemed to have all the right elements. But as it turns out, it's more of a detective novel than a thriller. Not my cup of tea.
If you like the classic Raymond Chandler, you'll love this book. It's well written an well narrated, and seems to be an homage to that 40's Noir style. But I didn't enjoy it as much as I'd expected.
This was a great period detective thriller -- but an excessively graphic one. Mr. Kerr earns high points for his research and detail but the rape scene was, in my mind, too much. If anything will keep me from purchasing his books in the future, it is the nightmares that I have had after listening to the graphic details of that scene.
You won't want to stop listening to what is one of the best historical thriller written. Nazi Germany provides the background. The writing is Chandler quality. If you like historical thrillers - don't miss this one.
A good noir crime novel that pays tribute to the Hammett and Chandler tradition. However, it fails to convey a real sense of place and the narrator mispronounces German place names so badly that they are often almost unrecognizable which, of course, makes the characters speaking them unbelievable. John Lee does a very good job otherwise; couldn't he have been coached a little on this?
One of the best historical fiction audiobooks I've heard. I could not wait to find out how the detective was going to unravel this case. Nice story, good twists and turns that kept the story very interesting. I was a bit remiss about the ending, but hey I guess you can't have it all.
An LA type PI in Nazi Germany. Lots of possible material to grow and build new books. A very good start.
If it gets a little dirty and colorful at times, I guess that is the way it could have been. The ending caught me by suprise.
I listen to books to be entertained... my favorite genre is a "Legal Thriller" I have actually been a member since 2001. Love my books!
This book gives you some insight into not so distant past and transports you to an era that is a blight on German history. Well researched and well written... I will definitely get this entire series.
I love books in the detective novel genre, and really enjoy stories written about the WWII era. This one takes place in pre-WWII Nazi Germany and introduces the protagonist Bernie Gunther as an Ex Cop, "Good Guy" detective.
Overall the story is a little flat and predictable, but the fictional tale around actual historical characters is interesting from a lot of angles. I like the author's writing style and his candid depiction of the real life brutality and violence that existed in 1936 Berlin, and I do look forward to continuing the series.
The narrator John Lee is one of the best in the business and is terrific in this one!
Overall Recommended, especially if you like the genre and stories about this era.
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