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Prussian Blue (A Bernie Gunther Novel) Hardcover – April 4, 2017
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Praise for Prussian Blue
“[B]risk and agile...Gunther is one of crime fiction’s most gratifyingly melancholy creations, and in Prussian Blue we watch him match wits with the officialdom of two Germanys, pre- and postwar.”—The Washington Post
“Bernie Gunther—sly, subversive, sardonic, and occasionally hilarious—is one of the greatest anti-heroes ever written, and as always he lights up this tough and unflinching novel. We're in good hands here.”—Lee Child
“Once again Kerr leads us through the facts of history and the vagaries of human nature. His Bernie Gunther thinks he’s seen it all. But he hasn’t, and luckily, neither have we.”—Tom Hanks
“In Prussian Blue, Philip Kerr once more shows himself one of the greatest master story-tellers in English. The narrative is swift and adept, and so well-grounded in the history and custom of the period that the reader is totally immersed.”—Alan Furst
“Kerr once again brilliantly uses a whodunit to bring to horrifying life the Nazi regime’s corruption and brutality.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“In this skillfully plotted thriller, Kerr punctures the present with the painful past. Fans of the series won’t be disappointed.”—Library Journal
More 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)
About the Author
Philip Kerr is the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Bernie Gunther novels, two of which—Field Gray and The Lady from Zagreb—were finalists for the Edgar® Award for Best Novel. Kerr has also won several Shamus Awards and the British Crime Writers’ Association Ellis Peters Award for Historical Crime Fiction. As P. B. Kerr, he is the author of the much-loved young adult fantasy series Children of the Lamp.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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In Kerr's newest book, "Prussian Blue", Gunther is placed in 1956 (with flashbacks to the late 1930's) and he is on the run from GDR official Erich Mielke (Kerr often uses real people, mixed in with the fictional), who wants him to commit a murder for him. It's a rather convoluted murder and is associated with the previous novel, "The Other Side of Silence", in the series. (You don't need to have read "Other Side of Silence" to understand this book.) Now, Gunther is no fan of the GDR - the living standards aren't what Bernie is used to and today's Stasi offical is often yesterday's Gestapo bully-boy. Bernie's trying to avoid both.
The book also sets Bernie in April 1939 when he is ordered by Reinhard Heydrich to investigate a possible murder at Hitler's retreat at Berchesgarden. (Curiously, Philip Kerr writes about the use of Pervitin, which was a kind of meth developed by the German pharmaceutical firm Temmler, and widely distributed in Germany to ramp up energy of the military and industrial workers. It was the subject of a new work of non-fiction, "Blitzed", by Norman Ohler)
As the book continues, the two cases as well as some others, come together to make a complete story. As usual, Philip Kerr's plotting is meticulous and brings his readers to another excellent story. And we'll wait for next year's book in the series!
Nevertheless, the novel is incredibly interesting, filled with real people and real characters and real events and real locations, Kerr's ability to re-create the atmosphere of the time is absolutely unparalleled. He knows the brands, the machines, the bakers, the tailors, the sports events, the movies, the cliches of the period and inserts them deftly into the story, not caring whether or not you get them. It makes the story seem all that more real, and Bernie Gunther is as real as a character gets.
This is NOT Kerr's best work. I suspect that was "Field Gray" or one of the earlier novels, but nevertheless I coveted this book for a long, long time and was not disappointed.. I am just disappointed that there might not be another or that if there is, I have to wait another year for it. There are other authors who try to imitate this style, such as the inestimable Alan Furst or the laughable Joseph Kanon, or the second-rate Ken Follet, but no one does it like Kerr. He is the absolute master.