From New York Times best-selling author Philip Kerr, the much-anticipated return of Bernie Gunther in a series hailed by Malcolm Forbes as "the best crime novels around today".
A beautiful actress, a rising star of the giant German film company UFA, now controlled by the Propaganda Ministry. The very clever, very dangerous propaganda minister - a close confidant of Hitler, an ambitious schemer and flagrant libertine. And Bernie Gunther, former Berlin homicide bull, now forced to do favors for Joseph Goebbels at the propaganda minister's command.
This time the favor is personal. And this time nothing is what it seems.
Set down amid the killing fields of Ustashe-controlled Croatia, Bernie finds himself in a world of mindless brutality where everyone has a hidden agenda. Perfect territory for a true cynic whose instinct is to trust no one.
©2015 Philip Kerr (P)2015 Penguin Audio
"Kerr is the only bona fide heir to Raymond Chandler." (Jonathan Ames, Salon)
"Bernie isn't one of those detectives who gets to solve crimes and put things right. Instead, he just tries to behave decently in a world where the serial killers run the governments and history itself may be the biggest crime of all." (John Powers, NPR's Fresh Air)
"On any continent, in any decade, no one does melancholy better than Bernie Gunther, and melancholy, after all, is the hard-boiled mystery fan's emotion of choice." (Booklist)
Mr. Kerr, Thank you, sir, for this joyous godsend from your literary treasure trove. You answered your fan's uproarious "request" for a reunion of Bernie Gunter and John Lee. Bravo! What a delicious (long awaited) treat: Bernie never missed a droll retort nor failed to launch a zinger at his detested Nazi bosses. Your working Bernie's story line with the major corporate sponsors (Mercedes Benz) and über maniacs (Goebels) of WW II makes the novel blaze like kristallnacht. Thank you.
I don't give out many 5* reviews, but this look inside the Third Reich, and Dr. Goebbel's lair rates it.
Philip Kerr is to Berlin Noir what Patrick O'Brien is to Napoleonic war novels. That is to say he is the benchmark for all others. And adding John Lee as narrator also sets the mood for such a somber. Period of history. It is amazing how the author continues to captivate us with interesting locales, more sinister characters based on real villains, and the ability to make the reader aka listener feel like we're a fly on the wall. I hope there are many more to come all with John Lee as narrator! He is perfect for this series. If Lee were given the chance to record any of the books that he did not previously narrate, I would go back and buy them all!
History, historical fiction and mysteries are my faves, but a fan of all genres.
Returns to a familiar time WW2 jaded, cynical detective is one of my fave characters. Was kind of lost with some of Philip Kerr's recent offerings, recommend the whole series for Noir fans.
I really enjoyed this story. It has a surprise ending as most in the series do.
John Lee narrates the story very well and doesn't disappoint.
I would like to see Bernie grow and get a permanent lady friend that loves him. However, that's not meant to be in this story, and another one slips through his hands and heart again.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and political thrillers as Phillip Kerr is a great storyteller and very accurate with his vivid portrayal of Europe during and after WW2.
Loved this book. I think Philip Kerr has captured, quite remarkably, WWII Berlin like no one (unless you'd lived there) has ever seen. More importantly, love that is true and tragic which continually plucks at your heartstrings. A book I will treasure
I have devoured Kerr's Bernie Gunther novels. However, this addition is far from his best or even up to his usual standard. There are too many semi-related plot threads making for a narrative that unravels and then "re-ravels." The romance is unconvincing. (In love? - no. In lust? - yes.) Focus, Kerr, focus in your next effort.
I have listened to other books John Lee narrations. His characterizations and speech patterns were really annoying.
Given this entry in the series, Kerr may have run out of narrative steam.
A man's got to do what a man's got to do..
I was looking forward reading a new Bernie Gunther novel after the rather poor deeds of Kerr in other books (like Research). The Lady of Zagreb left me with mixed feelings. I enjoyed the historical setting and the way the writer depicts life in Germany, Croatia and Switzerland during the Second World War. The dialogues are sharp and the plot captivating –although a bit convolute. On the other hand, unlike the first books of the Bernie’s series, Kerr is overplaying the wise-cracking aspect of the main character and the reading of John Lee seems to overemphasize this aspect so that Bernie Gunther comes across more as a smartass comedian than a military detective operating in very dramatic circumstances. This obviously takes away also a bit of drama and suspense from the story.
All in all an enjoyable reading overall; look forward to a better book next time.
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