“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
From New York Times–bestselling author Philip Kerr, the much-anticipated return of Bernie Gunther, our compromised former Berlin bull and unwilling SS officer. With his cover blown, he is waiting for the next move in the cat-and-mouse game that, even a decade after Germany’s defeat, continues to shadow his life.
The French Riviera, 1956: The invitation to dinner was not unexpected, though neither was it welcome. Erich Mielke, deputy head of the East German Stasi, has turned up in Nice, and he’s not on holiday. An old and dangerous adversary, Mielke is calling in a debt. He intends that Bernie go to London and, with the vial of Thallium he now pushes across the table, poison a female agent they both have had dealings with.
But chance intervenes in the form of Friedrich Korsch, an old Kripo comrade now working for Stasi and probably there to make sure Bernie gets the job done. Bernie bolts for the German border. Traveling by night, holed up during the day, Bernie has plenty of down time to recall the last time Korsch and he worked together.
It was the summer of 1939: At Hitler’s mountaintop retreat in Obersalzberg, the body of a low-level bureaucrat has been found murdered. Bernie and Korsch are selected to run the case. They have one week to solve the murder—Hitler is due back then to celebrate his fiftieth birthday. Lucky Bernie: it’s his reward for being Kripo’s best homicide detective. He knows what a box he’s in: millions have been spent to secure Obersalzberg. It would be a disaster if Hitler were to discover a shocking murder had been committed on the terrace of his own home. But the mountaintop is home to an elite Nazi community. It would be an even bigger disaster for Bernie if one of them was the murderer.
1939 and 1956: two different eras, seventeen years apart. And yet, not really apart, as the stunning climax will show when the two converge explosively.
Advance Galley Reviews
This is the first book I've read by this author and in the Bernie Gunther series. I was worried at first that I wouldn't understand what was going on knowing that this was the 12th book in the series, but I was happy to find out that I didn't need to read the others to fully grasp the story. This book was a great mix of fact and fiction. I personally love reading about the Nazi era so this book was right up my alley. The only negative aspect was the length. I think it could have been trimmed down a bit because it definitely took me quite some time to get through, but overall it was a great, entertaining book! I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about WWII or likes mysteries.
When I was preapproved & offered this book I wasn't familiar with the author, nor this series. I did not read as the subject matter is very unappealing to me. Thank you for the opportunity to read an ARC.
I was not able to access the copy. When I finally got to where I needed to be I received a message that it had been delivered. I never did get to read the book.
Prussian Blue was a good mix of historical fact and fiction. It gives the reader a good feel for the general attitude of suspicion, and fear felt in pre and post war Germany. The main character Bernie Gunther is a good detective with a delightfully cynical and often humerous outlook . The prose tends to get a bit too wordy at times tediously so, but the story line is enhanced with the blending of events that occurred 17 years apart. A good read for fans of the Nazi era.
I am very glad to have received an advance copy of this book from Penguin's first to read program. I found it to be intriguing, humorous, mysterious, and utterly enjoyable from start to finish. The main character, Bernie Gunther, holds to his personal standards and values, and I liked the first person point of view and the insights into his thoughts and opinions. Although I agree with others that the book was a bit long, I thought the writing flowed well and the author did a good job of intermingling fiction with historical tidbits. This is the first book I have read by this author, but I will certainly look up the other adventures of Bernie Gunther now that I have been introduced to his character!
I really enjoys the tale of Bernie Gunther. The book Prussian Blue is a tad too long but thoroughly enjoyable. The story has two different time periods, one in 1939 and the other in 1956. The two eras merge together in the climatic ending. Germany and Hitler will forever be remembered. Highly recommend.
My Review of “Prussian Blue” by Philip Kerr
I would like to thank First to Read, Marian Wood Books/Putnam and Penguin books for the ARC of “Prussian Blue” by Philip Kerr, for my honest review.
The genres of this book are fiction and adventure. There is some mystery and a touch of history. The author uses two timelines, to tell us the story, 1939 and 1956.
The author introduces us to Bernhard Gunther (Bernie) in 1956 when he is on his way to meet his estranged wife at a hotel, and instead meets with Erich Mielke, who becomes the head of the East German Stasti. Bernie Gunter is a detective with a special gift to solve crimes. Bernie is described as honest as one can be, resourceful, having a moral compass, and telling how he feels about something.(shooting from the hip, so to speak) In both timelines, this irritates his superiors. Bernie also has the terrible luck of finding superiors , with less ethical intent,who want to use him and his talents.
Erich Miekle has deceived Bernie into meeting him and wants Bernie to kill a woman using thallium insuring her a torturous death. The only antidote is Prussian Blue, a pigment in paint. It seems that Bernie really has no choice if he wants to survive.
Going back to 1939, Bernie is at Reinhard Heydrich’s beck and call to find out who shot and killed a man on Hitler’s terrace at Oberslzberg. Heydrich also wants Bernie, in a detective capacity, to also “spy” on Martin Bormann and other officials that work for Hitler. Again, Bernie really has no choice. The authors describe most of the characters in 1939, as complex, evil, and power-hungry. There are many suspects that fit the description of the killer, and many who would have wanted to kill this person. Martin Bormann wants this case revolved before Hitler’s birthday, which gives Bernie a week.
In both timelines, Bernie finds himself in danger, and trying to use his wits to survive. There are times when we see Bernie feeling as “no one’s man”, and frustrated at the politics and situations.
I enjoyed this intriguing and exciting book and would highly recommend it!!
I was surprised how interesting and enjoyable this book was. The series is going on my to read list, and the length was the only complaint. The main character's personality was a plus. A great book to recommend.
This is the first Philip Kerr novel I've ever read, though it's inspired me to go back and read all the rest. The writing is absolutely wonderful! The prose, while often long-winded, is full of detail and the kind of imagery that takes your breath away. Kerr seems to be one of those authors that falls into the Hemingway tradition of writing very to the point and without preamble, though he is nowhere near as dry.
Bernie Gunther is a true noir archetype: a sardonic, tough-talking, women-loving PI with a very concrete idea of honor and what should happen to those who lack it. He seems to hate nearly everyone, though he holds a special place for those who attempt to rule through viciousness and greed.
Prussian Blue dips between events that occurred during Hitler's regime in the 1939 and newer happenings in 1956, though it soon becomes clear that time has done little to effect real, lasting change on those who mean to do harm to others. I was not prepared for the climax of this amazing novel, and I usually have no problem guessing what is about to happen.
I'm looking forward to really exploring this series for the first time.