Sunday, November 23, 2014

Berlin Noir Trio by Philip Kerr

Berlin Noir by Philip Kerr

Kerr’s trio, March Violets, The Pale Criminal, and A German Requiem are so much more than noir detective fiction.

Bernie Gunther is a private detective, very much in the vein of Sam Spade, but his world is a lot more complicated. The Nazis are rising to power in Berlin. They are almost a joke for a bit; thugs no one quite takes seriously. Eventually they joke gets a lot less funny. People go missing. By the time the second world war is over a lot more people have gone missing. Berlin needs a hard drinking private dick with lady problems and a strong right cross more than ever. Sordid, historically fascinating, good language. Good stuff.

Of the two, March Violets and A German Requiem are the best. Cabaret era Berlin turns to a smoking ruin of rubble and crime over the course of these three novels. Quite a few people end up dead. And we get just a sense

This is excellent crime and detective fiction.

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