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Berlin Noir: March Violets, The Pale Criminal, A German Requiem (Bernie Gunther, 1-3)

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Anyway, it was a quick, entertaining read if you like detective novels, and it may lead you to contemplate how our era resembles (or doesn't) the 1930's. When an enigmatic Russian colonel asks Bernie Gunther to go to Vienna, where his ex-Kripo colleague Emil Becker faces a murder charge, Bernie doesn't hesitate for long. This man belonged to a secret society of Nazi hunters, and before he knows it Bernie is face to face with men who have been presumed dead for years. After a break of some fifteen years, Kerr resurrected Gunther for a storming sequence of novels, set before, during and after WWII, fully fleshing out this dark, conspiratorial universe into one of fiction’s great story arcs. She had the kind of body I'd only ever dreamed about, in the sort of dream I'd often dreamed of having again.

He’s picked up a partner, Bruno Stahlecker, one of his former colleagues from the Kripo, a man who seems to drink even more than Bernie.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. The problem with the daughter is far worse than Bernie could have ever imagined – the kid is seeing the evil and now elderly Max Reles, in fact wants to marry him. Hired by a wealthy industrialist to investigate the murder of his daughter and her husband, Bernie finds himself drawn into the lethal internal politics of the Nazi party.

And even after the war, amidst the decayed, imperial splendour of Vienna, Bernie uncovered a legacy that made the wartime atrocities look lily-white in comparison .

As head of Kripo, the Gestapo, and the SD (the Security Police), Reinhard Heydrich was Arthur’s immediate supervisor and a man who had distinguished himself by his ruthless suppression of all dissent during the 1936 Summer Olympics. Communism is the new enemy, and with the Nuremberg trials over, some strange alliances are being forged against the Red Menace - alignments that make many wartime atrocities look lily-white by comparison.

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