Kerr brilliantly evokes the edgy atmosphere of the post-war period in one of the most gripping and accomplished detective novels published so far this year - Sunday Times.
Kerr's period detail is utterly convincing. The way he captures a lost Berlin on the brink of cataclysmic change is in turns poignant and gritty … the sense of Havana's humid languor masking revolutionary plots rings every bit as true …what also impresses is Kerr's examination of how a man changes - and how he stays the same - over twenty years, when the two decades are so desperate and blood-spattered … this is a sophisticated thriller that brings the war and its aftermath to life' 'One of this year's finest crime offerings' Independent .
The book recently won the Ellis Peters award for historical crime fiction and it's not hard to see why; both sleazy cities are rendered atmospherically, and Bernie - with his Humphrey Bogart-like blend of sardonic humour and sombre integrity - is among the most winning of current sleuths' Sunday Times.
Philip Kerr has created a wonderful character whose loyalties are not only to his tortured country but to the truth, a vocation that makes for a somewhat dangerous life' (selected as number 1 in the 50 Best Winter Reads) Independent.
From the Inside Flap
Berlin 1934. The Nazis have been in power for just eighteen months but already Germany has seen some unpleasant changes. As the city prepares to host the 1936 Olympics, Jews are being expelled from all German sporting organisations - a blatant example of discrimination. Forced to resign as a homicide detective with Berlin's Criminal Police, Bernie Gunther is now house detective at the famous Adlon Hotel. The discovery of two bodies - one a businessman and the other a Jewish boxer - draws Bernie into the lives of two hotel guests. One is a beautiful left-wing journalist intent on persuading America to boycott the Berlin Olympiad; the other is a Chicago gangster who plans to use the Olympics to enrich himself and the Chicago mob. As events unfold, Bernie uncovers a vast labour and construction racket designed to take advantage of the huge sums the Nazis are prepared to spend to showcase the new Germany to the world. It is a plot that only finds its true conclusion twenty years later in pre-revolution Cuba. Acknowledged as one of today's finest thriller writers, Philip Kerr has drawn comparisons with Raymond Chandler and John le Carré. If the Dead Rise Not, Bernie Gunther's sixth outing, promises to deliver more of the hard-boiled, fast-paced and quick-witted action of Kerr's much-acclaimed novels, The One From the Other and A Quiet Flame.