In this second book of the Berlin Noir trilogy, The Pale Criminal brings back Bernie Gunther, an ex-policeman who thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin - until he turned freelance, and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of Nazi subculture.
Hard-hitting, fast-paced, and richly detailed, The Pale Criminal is noir writing at its blackest and best.
©2008 Philip Kerr; (P)2008 Books on Tape
"A superb tour of Berlin on the edge of an abyss and a cynical, dashing leading man." (St. Louis Dispatch)
"Echoes of Raymond Chandler but better on his vivid and well-researched detail than the master." (Evening Standard)
I've only done reviews for a handful of the hundreds I've listened to from Audible and other sources. The vast majority of selections one finds are ok, reasonably entertaining, decent narration, ... they pass the time. I tend to review when I find the book either a real turkey or, on the other hand, quite a find. This one is the latter category ... it's a really good piece of historical fiction with outstanding narration. I'm a fan of WW II historical dramas and films and this one kept kept reminding me of the incredible 2001 film "Conspiracy", about the Wannsee Conference where the Final Solution was hammered out, especially in its stark portrayal of Reinhard Heydrich who was also a central figure in "Conspiracy". But "The Pale Criminal" is also an excellent mystery in the noir manner about a serial killer of young girls in 1930s Nazi Germany. And it does an interesting psychological thing with its twists on psychotherapy, Jung, and others. I really, really liked this book, and am going to go looking for more by Phillip Kerr.
I am a real crime novel affaciando - and I can honestly say that Kerr is up there with Chandler and Hammett. OK, maybe not on the same level, but he's still writing - and headed in the right direction.
This book evokes a thrilling story of good and evil with lots of great characters and plot twists. Enjoy.
I must qualify my review by saying I am infatuated by books written about this era, and of course love the detective novel genre. I enjoyed the first book in this Bernie Gunther detective series, but this one was much better in that the story was more riveting and multi-faceted, whereas the overall story in the first book was a little flat.
Not only does the author give the reader/listener a taste of what life was like in pre-WWII Nazi Germany, a fictional tale built around actual historical characters is always one I truly enjoy.
I am looking forward to moving on to the third book in this series. For those who enjoy this book I would also recommend Ken Follet and several of his books such as, Eye of the Needle, Hornet Flight, and Jackdaws.
John Lee, the narrator is one of the best and does not disappoint in this effort. He is top notch as usual!
Overall Highly Recommended!!
As above.rates better than average but the story varies from semi-believable to fairly absurd.
The author is good at evoking the era and was clearly influenced by The Thin Man, in a good way.
Pretty good but one character is differentiated by a corny New York accent that was grating to the ears.
I wouldn't...a ridiculous question.
As I mentioned is reviewing the first of the trilogy, the tough guy dialogue becomes VERY tiresome, almost a caricature of Dragnet-style terse catchy stuff that is corny beyond belief. Also, the sex scenes....hit fast forward for those, you're not missing anything....a major detraction from these books, and I'm not a prude.
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