Metropolis A Bernie Gunther novel

Philip Kerr

Book - 2019

"New York Times-bestselling author Philip Kerr treats readers to his beloved hero's origins, exploring Bernie Gunther's first weeks on Berlin's Murder Squad. A portrait of Bernie Gunther in his twenties: He's young, but he's seen four bloody years of trench warfare. And he's not stupid. So when he receives a promotion and a ticket out of Vice squad, he knows he's not really leaving behind the criminal gangs, the perverse sex clubs, and the laundry list of... human corruption. It's 1928 and Berlin is a city on the edge of chaos, where nothing is truly verboten. But soon a new wave of shockingly violent murders sweeps up society's most vulnerable, prostitutes and wounded ex-soldiers begging on the streets. As Bernie Gunther sets out to make sense of multiple murders with different MOs in a city that knows no limits, he must face the fact that his own police HQ is not immune. The Nazi party has begun to infiltrate the Alex, Berlin's central office, just as the shaky Weimar government makes a last, desperate attempt to control a nation edging toward to the Third Reich. It seems like the only escape for most Berliners is the theater and Bernie's no exception. As he gets deeper into the city's sordid underground network, he seeks comfort with a make-up artist who is every bit a match for his quick wit and increasingly sardonic view of the world. But even this space can't remain untouched, not with this pervasive feeling that everything is for sale in Berlin if you're man enough to kill for it"--

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1st Floor MYSTERY/Kerr, Philip Due Aug 11, 2022
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Series
Kerr, Philip. Bernie Gunther novel.
Subjects
Genres
Mystery fiction
Historical fiction
Detective and mystery fiction
Published
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC [2019]
Language
English
Item Description
"A Marian Wood book."
Physical Description
368 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
ISBN
9780735218895
0735218897
9780525543015
0525543015
Main Author
Philip Kerr (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Fittingly, if sadly, Kerr's final, posthumously published Bernie Gunther novel returns the Berlin detective to his beginnings. It's 1928, and Bernie has just been promoted to the prestigious Murder Commission. Germany is just starting to emerge from the worst of the post-WWI inflation crisis, and, while the fabled decadence of the Weimar Republic remains in flower, the repressive Nazi movement is gaining strength. In the middle of that cauldron of opposites, Bernie finds himself investigating two serial killers—one who preys on prostitutes and another who targets the many disabled veterans reduced to panhandling on Berlin's streets. Or could there be only one killer? And, worse, could he be a cop, as some witnesses have suggested? With the help of a makeup artist working on the production of a new avant-garde musical, The Threepenny Opera, Bernie goes undercover as a limbless veteran to find the answers. Harkening back to the first two novels in the series, March Violets (1990) and The Pale Criminal (1991), both set a bit later in the Weimar era, Kerr displays again his special talent for reflecting individual depravities against the broad canvas of a society collapsing upon itself. It's fascinating to see a younger Bernie here, with the makings of the melancholic wiseass and world-class cynic he will soon become, but still just a tad vulnerable (and still learning to hold his liquor). The Bernie Gunther series is one of the great triumphs of modern noir, and it will be sorely missed. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

At the start of bestseller Kerr's gripping 14th and final Bernie Gunther novel (after 2018's Greek Bearing Gifts), a prequel, Bernie's skills as a vice cop earn him a place on the Berlin Murder Commission in the summer of 1928. In one of his first cases, Bernie collars a murderer within hours of the crime, but tougher is trying to identify and apprehend a serial killer, nicknamed Winnetou (after a character in a Karl May western), who has been scalping prostitutes. Then another serial killer, who writes taunting letters to the police signed Dr. Gnadenschuss, starts targeting the many maimed WWI veterans who struggle to survive on the streets of Berlin. Bernie has a hunch that the two killers are the same. This police procedural may lack the complex plotting of the best Gunther books, but Kerr (1956–2018) does a fine job of immersing the reader in the seamy side of Weimar Germany as Bernie crosses paths with such real-life folks as artist George Grosz and scriptwriter Thea von Harbou, the wife of filmmaker Fritz Lang. Fans will be sorry to see the last of the honest, wisecracking Bernie. Agent: Caradoc King, A.P. Watt (U.K.). (Apr.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

In 1928, with Berlin close to chaos and the Nazi party on the rise, young Bernie Gunther, in his first weeks on Berlin's Murder Squad, investigates a particularly violent wave of murders targeting the city's vulnerable prostitutes and homeless veterans.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"New York Times-bestselling author Philip Kerr treats readers to his beloved hero's origins, exploring Bernie Gunther's first weeks on Berlin's Murder Squad. A portrait of Bernie Gunther in his twenties: He's young, but he's seen four bloody years of trench warfare. And he's not stupid. So when he receives a promotion and a ticket out of Vice squad, he knows he's not really leaving behind the criminal gangs, the perverse sex clubs, and the laundry list of human corruption. It's 1928 and Berlin is a cityon the edge of chaos, where nothing is truly verboten. But soon a new wave of shockingly violent murders sweeps up society's most vulnerable, prostitutes and wounded ex-soldiers begging on the streets. As Bernie Gunther sets out to make sense of multiple murders with different MOs in a city that knows no limits, he must face the fact that his own police HQ is not immune. The Nazi party has begun to inflitrate the Alex, Berlin's central office, just as the shakey Weimar government makes a last, desperateattempt to control a nation edging toward to the Third Reich. It seems like the only escape for most Berliners is the theater and Bernie's no exception. As he gets deeper into the city's sordid underground network, he seeks comfort with a make-up artistwho is every bit a match for his quick wit and increasingly sardonic view of the world. But even this space can't remain untouched, not with this pervasive feeling that everything is for sale in Berlin if you're man enough to kill for it"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A Bernie Gunther origin story is set during his first weeks on Berlin's Murder Squad and finds a twentysomething Bernie investigating a particularly violent wave of murders targeting the city's vulnerable prostitutes and homeless veterans.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

"[Metropolis is] a perfect goodbye--and first hello--to its hero...Bernie Gunther has, at last, come home."--Washington PostNew York Times-bestselling author Philip Kerr treats readers to his beloved hero's origins, exploring Bernie Gunther's first weeks on Berlin's Murder Squad.Summer, 1928. Berlin, a city where nothing is verboten. In the night streets, political gangs wander, looking for fights. Daylight reveals a beleaguered populace barely recovering from the postwar inflation, often jobless, reeling from the reparations imposed by the victors. At central police HQ, the Murder Commission has its hands full. A killer is on the loose and though he scatters many clues, each is a dead end. It's almost as if he is taunting the cops. Meanwhile, the press is having a field day. This is what Bernie Gunther finds on his first day with the Murder Commisson. He's been taken on beacuse the people at the top have noticed him--they think he has the makings of a first-rate detective. But not just yet. Right now, he has to listen and learn. Metropolis, completed just before Philip Kerr's untimely death, is the capstone of a fourteen-book journey through the life of Kerr's signature character, Bernhard Genther, a sardonic and wisecracking homicide detective caught up in an increasingly Nazified Berlin police department. In many ways, it is Bernie's origin story and, as Kerr's last novel, it is also, alas, his end. Metropolis is also a tour of a city in chaos: of its seedy sideshows and sex clubs, of the underground gangs that run its rackets, and its bewildered citizens--the lost, the homeless, the abandoned. It is Berlin as it edges toward the new world order that Hitler will soo usher in. And Bernie? He's a quick study and he's learning a lot. Including, to his chagrin, that when push comes to shove, he isn't much better than the gangsters in doing whatever her must to get what he wants.