Bernie Gunther, the tough, fast-talking noirish detective who made his first appearance in March Violets, takes center stage in this twist-filled thriller that turns Philip Kerr’s German trilogy into a surprise-filled quartet. Fans have had to wait fifteen years for Bernie’s resurrection. They will not be disappointed.

Munich, 1949: Amid the chaos of defeat, it’s a place of dirty deals, rampant greed, fleeing war criminals, and all the backstabbing intrigue that prospers in the aftermath of war. It is also a place where a private eye can find a lot of not-quite-reputable work: cleaning up the Nazi past of well-to-do locals, abetting fugitives in their flight abroad, sorting out rival claims to stolen goods. It’s work that fills Bernie with disgust–but it also fills his sorely depleted wallet. Then a woman seeks him out. Her husband has disappeared. She’s not looking to get him back–he’s a wanted man who ran one of the most vicious concentration camps in Poland. She just wants confirmation that he’s dead.

It’s a simple enough job. But in postwar Germany, nothing is simple–nothing is what it appears to be. Taking the case, Bernie takes on far more than he’d bargained for, and he soon finds himself on the run, facing enemies on every side. Because in a defeated and divided Germany, it’s hard to know friends from enemies, the one from the other.


From the Compact Disc edition.
Praise for Philip Kerr and the Bernie Gunther Novels

“A brilliantly innovative thriller writer.”—Salman Rushdie
 
“Philip Kerr is the only bona fide heir to Raymond Chandler.”—Salon.com
 
“In terms of narrative, plot, pace and characterization, Kerr’s in a league with John le Carré.”—The Washington Post
 
“Every time we’re afraid we’ve seen the last of Bernie Gunther, Philip Kerr comes through with another unnerving adventure for his morally conflicted hero.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
 
“Just as youth is wasted on the young, history is wasted on historians. It ought to be the exclusive property of novelists—but only if they are as clever and knowledgeable as Philip Kerr.”—Chicago Tribune
 
“Kerr quantum leaps the limitations of genre fiction. Most thrillers insult your intelligence; his assault your ignorance.”—Esquire

“A richly satisfying mystery, one that evokes the noir sensibilities of Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald while breaking important new ground of its own.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“Part of the allure of these novels is that Bernie is such an interesting creation, a Chandleresque knight errant caught in insane historical surroundings. Bernie walks down streets so mean that nobody can stay alive and remain truly clean.”—John Powers, Fresh Air (NPR)
 
“The Bernie Gunther novels are first-class, as stylish as Chandler and as emotionally resonant as the best of Ross Macdonald.”—George Pelecanos
 
“Kerr’s stylish noir writing makes every page a joy to read.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

More About The Author

More About The Narrator