Save Big On Open-Box & Used Products: Buy "If the Dead Rise Not: A Bernie Gunther Novel” from Amazon Open-Box & Used and save 58% off the $16.00 list price. Product is eligible for Amazon's 30-day returns policy and Prime or FREE Shipping. See all offers from Amazon Open-Box & Used.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
If the Dead Rise Not: A Bernie Gunther Novel Paperback – April 5, 2011
|New from||Used from|
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Silent Corner" by Dean Koontz
A dazzling new series, a pure adrenaline rush, debuts with Jane Hawk, a remarkable heroine certain to become an icon of suspense. See more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Special offers and product promotions
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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
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? She plans to use the article as a vehicle in which the murder of a Jewish boxer will convince one-and-all that there are dire machinations between the AOC representative (Brundage), Max Reles and the German Olympic Committee Reichssportführer, Hans von Tschammer und Osten (who also serves as leader of the Deutscher Reichsbund für Leibesübungen and, not to be overlooked, is an SA Gruppenführer) all of which should convince the American government to cancel US participation in the Games. This all occurs, of course, with the connivance of a bewildering array of complicit agents on both sides of the Atlantic.
One of the outstanding features of the Gunther series is its ability to acquaint current readers with some of the lesser-known but thoroughly nasty characters who have generally escaped historical scrutiny, Avery Brundage being a prime example of the type. This cynical, corrupt, sanctimonious and immensely wealthy scion of American nobility, inflicted his insipid presence on the Olympic scene right up through the 1972 Munich/Black September debacle. Under the guise of impartial sportsmanship, Brundage lined his pockets with public funds and undermined the integrity of the institution he was serving. Helldorf, who literally lost his head in 1944 when he fell afoul of his own plotting, is an almost Hollywood style Nazi, coming as he did from a "noble" family. Naturally, he was fond of indulging in all the debaucheries favored by most delicately decadent members of the elite (and so richly caricaturized by so many lesser authors) is another chap whose curriculum vitae should be known to all lovers of the noir genre. Reles, a Jewish thug, on the other hand, is a fictional character, but he is a stand-in for the sort of people Brundage and von Helldorf held near and dear.
So, having been introduced to the German side of the "If the Dead Rise Not" coin in the first half of the novel, what comes next? Readers of the series will recall that Bernie, late of KRIPO, the SS, the Abwehr and the US CIC amongst others, was implicated in the murders of two women in the previous story in the series, "A Quiet Flame". With the aid of the "Old Comrades" (ODESSA) and the CIA (Operation Paperclip), Bernie arrived in Argentina hoping to lead a shy and retiring life but (of course!) becomes involved in another dire plot. In the second half of "Dead", he surfaces in 1954 Cuba, where he again encounters Reles, this time as a member of the American "expat" criminal community which includes the entire pantheon of American Jewish gangsters (e.g., the Lansky brothers, Nathan Rothman) and select members of the Mafia (Joe Stassi, Santo Trafficante, etc, etc). He also meets the nefarious Lieutenant Quevedo, who has all the attributes of the sophisticated Nazis Bernie is accustomed to dealing with. He also encounters the mordant and occasionally helpful Captain Sanchez, analogue of the occasionally helpful Nazis Bernie is accustomed to dealing with illustrating that human nature has certain enduring refrains, regardless of which side of the ocean you live on. Bernie also, not surprisingly, again encounters Noreen, who resides at Ernest Hemingway's Cuban farm. Thus, we have the Cuban dramatis personnae.
As before, the book hews to the Chandler-Hammett-Ellroy style. This is not a criticism; its a compliment. So is the liberal use of Chandler-style dialogue. Here are a couple of examples: "As you can see, he might have been a Jew...Although from the rest of him, you wouldn't say he looks like a Jew at all", to which Bernie replies, "The strangest people are these days", or this lapidary Bernie-ism, "These days, a considerate German is someone who doesn't knock at your door early in the morning in case you think it's the Gestapo." Bernie says, "I'm not a Nazi. I'm a German. And a German is different from a Nazi. A German is a man who manages to overcome his worst prejudices. A Nazi is a man who turns them into laws." Kerr even borrows a lick from the Robert Towne "Chinatown" script: a body found floating in fresh water with salt water in its lungs ("Salt water bad for glass"). The meticulous attention to historical detail also continues from previous books and reflects diligent and comprehensive research by the author.
"Dead" is a really first-rank detective thriller. The sparkling dialogue, deeply researched history, cleverly contrived story lines and Kerr's unique ability to avoid the sort of self-parody that many modern mystery series writers eventually fall prey to command attention and respect. Perhaps in future installments, hoping there are some, Kerr will concentrate more on Bernie during the pre-War and WW-II years. Regardless, any and all these books are well worth reading.
The last third is yet another murder mystery but with the main protagonists now 20 years older. It is essential reading for Bernie Gunther followers and of course, it could have ended very differently, for example, with Gunther not going to Germany but staying in Cuba, or clearing his CIA record, and/or moving to the US. Mystery stories from the US East Coast of th 1950's might have followed...
I would have given this book five stars but for the excessive moralizing and the lengthy monologues which sometimes gave the impression of being just fillers. The protagonist's choppy speech was also a minus. I realize that he was meant to portray a hard-boiled detective, but one would have thought that even such a character would have progressed to more complex sentences and to using less slang.
On one hand, Kerr is formulaic: in _If the Dead Rise Not_, the book is split between pre-war Nazi Germany and Latin America after the war; a past investigation in Berlin impacts and is related to an investigation years later; Gunther meets and falls in love with a beautiful and willful woman against his better judgement; in his investigation in Latin America, Gunther finds himself in a very tight spot where he is about to be executed by being thrown overboard with cement galoshes; while in Cuba, he meets or has brushes with important "historical" figures. All of this, of course is hauntingly familiar to _A Quiet Flame_, a story that alternates between pre-war Berlin and Argentina, a murder investigation in the past is finally solved in Buenos Aires, where Gunther meets and falls in love with a willful and beauitiful woman (against his better judgement), before he lands in hot water, his life threatened by Peron cronies who want to throw him out of an airplane.
On the other hand, the Bernie Gunther in _If the Dead Rise Not_ has much more snappy dialogue, cynical comebacks and a jaded view of the world than in either _A Quiet Flame_ or The One from the Other: A Bernie Gunther Novel. I missed his wise-cracking dry humor, and was delighted to see it and see so much of it here. Kerr also does a remarkable job of showing the struggle Gunther (and other characters) have with their identity, especially in Nazi Germany on the cusp of the Nuermberg "racial purity" laws. Frequently the contrast between being "German" and being a "Nazi" is drawn, often through witticisms like "A German is a man who manages to overcome his worst prejudices. A Nazi is a man who turns them into laws." The eerie similarity between Nazi Germany of the 1930s with Argentina in the late 1940s and Cuba in the 1950s is brilliantly and subtly underscored as well. As Kerr writes, "In a society founded upon lies, the discovery of the truth will beocme more and more important." This is true of governments and societies as much as it is of individuals - another element that Kerr shows with Gunther.
One of the most difficult things for an author to do in a serial such as the Bernie Gunther mysteries is to keep things fresh. While Gunther (of course) solves the mystery and settles old scores, the last few books have had Gunther living a lie; a case could be made that the entire series is based on the moral conflict our intrepid hero faces and the lies he tells others and the lies he tells himself in order to survive. Towards these ends, Kerr keeps things fresh as some truths about Gunther's past unbeknownst to him (and to readers) is revealed. That he is able to still suprise and provide some depth to his character is reassuring, given the number of similar plot devices used in the last two books.
I remain a fan of both Kerr and the series, and I will continue to read them in spite of the strong similarities between this book and its predecessor. I assume this is a one-off. As long as Kerr can continue to suprise and give depth to his character and write dialogue and character description with a noir flavor, I'll keep coming back.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
also for the German history during and after the Nazi's...Read more