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Prague Fatale

Book 8, Bernie Gunther - A Bernie Gunther Novel

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A Kirkus Reviews Top Ten Crime Novel for 2012

September 1941: Reinhard Heydrich is hosting a gathering to celebrate his appointment as Reichsprotector of Czechoslovakia. He has chosen his guests with care. All are high-ranking Party members and each is a suspect in a crime as yet to be committed: the murder of Heydrich himself.
     Indeed, a murder does occur, but the victim is a young adjutant on Heydrich’s staff, found dead in his room, the door and windows bolted from the inside. Anticipating foul play, Heydrich had already ordered Bernie Gunther to Prague. After more than a decade in Berlin's Kripo, Bernie had jumped ship as the Nazis came to power, setting himself up as a private detective. But Heydrich, who managed to subsume Kripo into his own SS operations, has forced Bernie back to police work. Now, searching for the killer, Gunther must pick through the lives of some of the Reich’s most odious officials.

     A perfect locked-room mystery. But because Philip Kerr is a master of the sleight of hand, Prague Fatale is also a tense political thriller: a complex tale of spies, partisan terrorists, vicious infighting, and a turncoat traitor situated in the upper reaches of the Third Reich.

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 27, 2012 – Kerr s stellar eighth Bernie Gunther novel (after 2011 s Field Gray) takes the Berlin cop to Prague in October 1941, to investigate the murder of an adjutant of feared SS Gen. Reinhard Heydrich, who s just become the Protector of Bohemia and Moravia. The morning after a drunken party attended by SS officers at Heydrich s country estate outside Prague, the adjutant, who was shaken by what he witnessed as part of a Nazi death squad in Latvia, is found dead in a locked guestroom. Heydrich wants Gunther, suicidal himself after similar experiences in Russia, to find the adjutant s killer fast, but how is one to identify the culprit amid a house full of professional murderers? A subplot involving the death of a foreigner run over by a train and Czech nationalists dovetails with a surprising denouement worthy of Agatha Christie. Kerr effectively works dark humor into Gunther s weary narration, and the ending packs the wicked bite his readers have come to anticipate.

Customer Reviews

Prague Fatale

Talk about a humdinger of a story...this is it. I was absolutely floored at the turns in the plot. One of Kerr's best IMHO.

Great Read

Really enjoyed this book. I think the wit and intellect of the writer really comes out in the lead character. Not only was it a good mystery, but it encouraged me to look up some history as well.

Angel, It's Time for Some Zoloft

As a big fan of Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther novels, I was really looking forward to the latest installment. Unfortunately it didn't live up to the expectations set by previous books. Kerr's command of WWII history is astounding and on full display in the book, but as in Field Gray, the previous Gunther novel, the fun, sardonic and sarcastic Gunther is gone. What made these books so great is that they captured the spirit and style of the best Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett stories--Bernie Gunther, like Philip Marlowe, always had a twinkle in his eye when he spoke.

But no more. A book that starts off with the main character contemplating suicide is not noire material--it's just depressing. And with the background of Nazi Germany in every book, it's critical that the main character have a rosier attitude. The depressing outlook makes more sense in Field Gray because it takes place in the 1950's; Gunther is a lot older. This book takes place between the second and third books, so the style difference is doubly noticeable.

If you're a diehard Bernie Gunther fan like me, just buy it. It's still got a good mystery story and the setting is just as terrifying and mesmerizing as always. But if you're new to the series, I highly recommend starting with the earlier books.

Prague Fatale
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  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Mysteries & Thrillers
  • Published: Apr 17, 2012
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 432 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Book 8, Bernie Gunther
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings