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If the Dead Rise Not: A Bernie Gunther Novel by [Kerr, Philip]
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If the Dead Rise Not: A Bernie Gunther Novel Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews

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Length: 466 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Both newcomers and established fans will appreciate Kerr's outstanding sixth Bernie Gunther novel (after A Quiet Flame), as it fills in much of the German PI's backstory. By 1934, as the Nazis tighten their grip on power, Gunther has left the Berlin police force for a job as a hotel detective. His routine inquiry into the theft of a Chinese box from a guest, a German-American from New York, becomes more complex after he learns that the identical objet d'art was reported stolen just the previous day by an official from the Asiatic Museum. The case proves to be connected with German efforts to forestall an American boycott of the 1936 Olympics, and provides ample opportunities for Gunther, whom Sam Spade would have found a kindred spirit, to make difficult moral choices. Once again the author smoothly integrates a noir crime plot with an authentic historical background. Note that the action precedes the events recounted in the series' debut, March Violets (1989). (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Favorably compared to the World War II espionage novels of Alan Furst (The Foreign Correspondent, The Spies of Warsaw) and the work of hard-boiled legends Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald, Philip Kerr reprises the Bernie Gunther saga with true fidelity to his detective's noir roots. The Berlin Noir novels (March Violets, The Pale Criminal, A German Requiem), a trilogy published nearly 20 years ago, are known in crime circles but woefully neglected by mainstream readers. With If the Dead Rise Not--and despite the unevenness of the book's two parts, which critics felt slightly impaired the novel as a whole--Kerr continues to develop Gunther's character in one of the great historical crime series.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1218 KB
  • Print Length: 466 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons; Reprint edition (February 25, 2010)
  • Publication Date: March 18, 2010
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0030CVRFM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,757 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Keith A. Comess VINE VOICE on March 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bernie Gunther, cynical gumshoe and knight errant, reprises his Philip Marlowe role as interface between the malevolent but pragmatic wing of Nazi Party functionaries, various tough guys and the clever but hazardous-to-be-personally-involved with (female) client. As before, many of the dramatis personnae are actual historical figures, the attention to historical detail is exemplary, the dialogue redolent of Raymond Chandler, the plot cunning and the denouement (this time set in pre-Castro Cuba during the Batista regimes' early end-game) is cleverly executed. In short, this is vintage Kerr and, as such, is well worth reading.

In the current story, initially set in pre-War Berlin (circa 1934) Gunther encounters a mix of real and fictional characters, including American "businessman" (well, actually he's a gangster) Max Reles, Nazi Police General von Helldorf, Gestapo agent Weinberger (nope, not a crypto-Jew, despite the suggestive name, a fact that assumes importance in the story), corrupt American Olympic Committee functionary Avery Brundage, several SS and KRIPO members and Noreen Eisner, femme semi-fatale and Bernie's romantic interest. This time, Gunther, while working as Adlon Hotel carpet-creeper, encounters the vivacious Noreen, a Jewish journalist working on a newspaper article which will demonstrate ongoing Nazi anti-Jewish behavior (akin to exposing corruption in the police; an exercise in exposing the obvious). Why?
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Format: Hardcover
Time for a real review instead of comments on Kindle pricing?

This, the sixth book in Philip Kerr's remarkable Bernie Gunther series, shows that the author hasn't lost his knack for combining classic noir mysteries (complete with a hard-nosed investigator who cracks wise at the drop of a fedora) with a more thoughtful narrative that delves into the harsh realities of the ordinary individual face-to-face with some of the harshest political regimes of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. It isn't Kerr's best, but it's a fascinating story that manages to bookend the improbable odyssey of Gunther, who readers first met in the mid-1930s as an already-world weary and worldly wise private investigator in Nazi Berlin and last saw leaving behind the new Peronist dictatorship in Argentina with a new name that he hopes will keep him safe from myriad enemies that he has inadvertently left in his wake.

The book starts in Berlin in 1934, when Bernie has left the police department (the philosophy of jumping before he gets pushed out as a Social Democrat and thus politically undesirable) in the wake of the Nazi takeover and finds himself working as the house detective at Berlin's famous Adlon Hotel. That doesn't keep him out of political hot water, however; he finds that two dead bodies, one in one of the Adlon's best rooms and the other fished out of the Landwehr Canal with its lungs full of seawater, appear to be linked by politics -- specifically, by politics surrounding the upcoming Berlin Olympics and the efforts by some groups to boycott the games in view of the Nazi regime's anti-Jewish policies.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bernie Gunther has been very entertaining - the life he lives, created by Kerr, takes us from the trenches of WW1 now to 1950's Cuba. I have read each entry and appreciate the hard-boiled character, the history mash-ups, and the underlying mysteries. Unfortunately, this effort does not measure up to the previous works. The plot was slow and predictable. The first half of the book in 1934 Germany moved at a glacier-like pace and the whole gangster angle was actually boring. Still the history was accurate and Bernie's Zelig-like appearances with leading figures of the day continues to intrigue. I am now torn between desiring another one or letting Bernie retire after a life well lived.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If the Dead Rise Not is either the third or the sixth novel in Philip Kerr’s series about the indomitable Berlin detective Bernie Gunther. The ranking depends on whether you take into account the three much earlier books in the Berlin Noir series that introduced the voluble and sarcastic German investigator.

From Hitler’s Germany to pre-Castro Cuba

If the Dead Rise Not opens in Berlin in 1934. Bernie Gunther has left the Berlin criminal police, the KRIPO, because he can’t stomach the politics of the force under the Nazis — or, for that matter, of the country as a whole. Adolf Hitler seized control of the government a year earlier, and his violence-prone minions are clamping down on Jews, Gypsies, and dissidents alike. To make ends meet, Bernie is now working as a house detective at the Adlon, the city’s finest luxury hotel. The owners tolerate his outspoken anti-Nazi sentiments and his constant sarcasm. In pursuing an investigation at the behest of Frau Adlon, who owns the hotel with her husband, Bernie becomes involved with a beautiful American newspaper reporter and a ruthless American gangster. As his investigation unfolds, putting Bernie at ever-greater peril, the action suddenly shifts to Havana in 1954. There, under the shadow of Fulgencio Batista’s brutal regime and the growing insurgency led by Fidel Castro, Bernie (predictably) encounters both Americans once again.

The picture Kerr paints of both Berlin and Havana is richly detailed and firmly grounded in historical fact. Though the plot is complex and challenging, the style is less worthy of praise.

A problematic writing style

Five years ago, I reviewed the fourth novel in the series, a book entitled The One from the Other.
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