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Publisher's Summary

From New York Times best-selling author Philip Kerr, the much-anticipated return of Bernie Gunther, our compromised former Berlin bull and unwilling SS officer. With his cover blown, he is waiting for the next move in the cat-and-mouse game that, even a decade after Germany's defeat, continues to shadow his life.

The French Riviera, 1956: The invitation to dinner was not unexpected, though neither was it welcome. Erich Mielke, deputy head of the East German Stasi, has turned up in Nice, and he's not on holiday. An old and dangerous adversary, Mielke is calling in a debt. He intends that Bernie go to London and, with the vial of Thallium he now pushes across the table, poison a female agent they both have had dealings with.

But chance intervenes in the form of Friedrich Korsch, an old Kripo comrade now working for Stasi and probably there to make sure Bernie gets the job done. Bernie bolts for the German border. Traveling by night, holed up during the day, Bernie has plenty of downtime to recall the last time Korsch and he worked together.

The summer of 1939: At Hitler's mountaintop retreat in Obersalzberg, the body of a low-level bureaucrat has been found murdered. Bernie and Korsch are selected to run the case. They have one week to solve the murder - Hitler is due back then to celebrate his 50th birthday. Lucky Bernie: It's his reward for being Kripo's best homicide detective. He knows what a box he's in - millions have been spent to secure Obersalzberg. It would be a disaster if Hitler were to discover a shocking murder had been committed on the terrace of his own home. But the mountaintop is home to an elite Nazi community. It would be an even bigger disaster for Bernie if one of them was the murderer.

Two different eras: 1939 and 1956, 17 years apart. And yet not really apart, as the stunning climax will show when the two converge explosively.

©2017 Philip Kerr (P)2017 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

over-the-top narration became tedious

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

no

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

it was satisfactory; I don't expect fairy-tale endings

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John Lee?

not sure. I usually like John Lee but found his over-exaggerated archness tedious here

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

depends on the cast

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Bernie Would Have Won

John Lee took some time hitting his stride in this one. Does he do Kerr's books about the English football club? I miss the idiosyncratic noir slang of the series opener, but plot and setting are solid here. My personal favorite of this series is the one with the Cuban Casino.

I love these books. If you are interested, I strongly recommend beginning at the beginning. This particular story might not grip a new listener, but the momentum of the series is far from spent. While not knocked over by this installment, I was excited to get it and will be excited for the next one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Bernie in the Brambles

More great adventures of Bernie the sarcastically cynical broken hero... Fascinating snapshot of a historical context, and delightful weaving of historical characters into the fabulous fiction... These books don't have to be read in order, you can appreciate the uniqueness of Bernie regardless of which book you pick up first... Murder, conspiracy, Nazis, Commies, twists and turns, and the inevitable near death experiences Bernie always finds himself somehow enduring and surviving... Witty and depressing simultaneously that's Bernie the Bull... Flows smoothly w/ the historical back and forth, and the narration is excellent... Fair warning, there is no such thing as a happy ending in a Bernie Gunther story, only varying degrees of survival...

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best Bernie hunter series!

I really enjoy the Bernie Gunter series, and this one is the best i have read to date. Excellent storyline, great narration by John Lee. In addition to good suspense, the character are well developed, and Bernie with his sharp Berliner humor has me laughing, at the same time this does not detract from the great depiction of Germany pre and pst Ww 2. Very absorbing!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Parallel Histories

The trio of author, protagonist and narrator bring 2 completely separate plots together seamlessly as Bernie, again, miraculously survives certain death so that we can observe not just history, but it's aftermath. The author's ability to make Bernie almost superhuman, in a believable way, helps us to glimpse how one righteous man might make a difference in a world where man's inhumanity to man is front page news, when the righteous go unnoticed. But they do go on...creating some light in the darkness.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best Bernie Gunther yet

I have enjoyed most of the Gunther books, having read them all.
Prussian Blue is he best of the series, made great by it's weaving the tale around real people and real history.
I am anxious to read the next Gunther novel next April.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Kerr's Best Book Yet!

From start to finish Prussian Blue is a must read and has.more twists than a West Virginia mountain road. Kerr takes Bernie Gunther on the toughest case of his life showing that he is a master story teller. The depth of his research is amazing and it shows on every page. John Lee again is the star of the show with so many voices it's hard to believe is all just him. A true 5 star novel and performance. O

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting

Lee gives a great performance and the story is spellbinding. Kerr knows how to set the mood and atmosphere that makes the story very realistic. Will listen to this again.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A narrator who lets Gunther down

How could the performance have been better?

I toiled to get through this one: mannerisms, selfindulgence and a pronounciation af German names and other expressions that borders on the ridiculous- e.g. try to identify the Voelkischer Beobachter behind the anglicisms. Where is the editor to tell the narrator to find a glossary and look up the words he does not know how to pronounce,
Anyway - Bernie Gunther and his blue world of war memories and spleen that normally ties you to your listening device this time dissolves behind a narration definitely not up to it's task

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent writer; good history

I have read Philip Kerr before and he is an excellent writer. I hated his characters and could not care about them at all. You do not have to like characters in a novel, but these Nazi were a deplorable lot. (Were there any good guys really?) Only a German speaker would recognize the novel's syntax was of a British speaker and not a German. The Nazi story gave the novel some substance.