5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: If the Dead Rise Not: A Bernie Gunther Mystery (Paperback)This is a gripping detective story set in Berlin in 1934. The Nazis are in power and Germany is experiencing rapid change. The hero, Bernie Gunther, is a former cop who is now working as a hotel detective. He is investigating two deaths: one which took place in his hotel, and one which a police friend has asked for his assistance on. It's a complicated and skilfully constructed plot which encompasses corruption in the preparation for the Berlin Olympics, the possibility of a US boycott of the Olympics and the treatment of Jews and minorities in 1930s Germany. The plot later moves to Havana in the 1950s and at first you wonder why, but as some central characters re-appear it becomes evident that this is a continuation of the same story.
While this is the sixth Philip Kerr novel to feature hero Bernie Gunther, it is entirely possible to read and enjoy this book without having read the others. Some of the other books actually take place after the events of this one, while others pre-date it.
Philip Kerr's writing style combines the texture of Peter Temple's writing with the hard-boiled wit of Raymond Chandler. It's a pleasure to read. Like the best crime novels, the setting and the characters are as important to the story as the crimes themselves. The characters are wonderfully textured - real people.
My thanks to reviewer Nick Brett for bringing this one to my attention. It's a terrific read.