This is the 14th book In the Bernie Gunther series, Written before the sad and untimely death of the author Philip Kerr. I actually have most of the series in my tbr pile but this came up on netgalley and caught my interest so here is my review
Set in 1928 , Berlin is a place of debauchery, prostitution, transvestites, bars and sex clubs, drinking is rife, sex is currency, beggars and homeless are everywhere, corrupt cops, anti semitism and drug dealers on the streets. it’s a new Babylon as the author describes at a time when the Weimar Republic Is coming to its end, before Hitler and the Nazi Party came to power.
A young Bernie Gunther working in vice , is promoted to the murder squad , by the Berlin Chief of the Criminal Police, Bernhard Weiss, to work alongside highly experienced top cop the “Big Buddha” Ernst Gannet. they begin to hunt for a serial killer responsible for killing and scalping 4 prostitutes, dubbed the Silesian Station Killings.
Soon A second set of murders begins. The killings of old war veterans and beggars, taunted by the killer in letters to the papers, the murder squad slow down their investigation in the prostitute murders to concentrate on this new string of more public killings.
Yet Bernie is approached by the father of the fourth victim part time prostitute Eva Angerstein. Erich Angerstein , A Berlin Crime Kingpin asks him to continue the investigation on a promise of information in regards to other open crimes from the Crime Boss.
Bernie is a somewhat innocent yet flawed young detective in his ways, a heavy drinker, at times a dreamer, he often goes against the wishes of his superiors and looks at other evidence himself, using help from others not strictly above board in hunt of answers. He also has a wicked sense of humour and wit which is prevalent through the whole book and really does help make the book for me.
The Finale is cleverly plotted and leads to a very interesting end, its intricate, intelligent and also emotional.
This book is quite dark in the sense that the nazi threat is looming large and the constant references only remind you of what is to come to Germany in the not too distant future.
The Inviting writing, told in the 1st person, with stunning attention to detail is so easy to read. I felt drawn into 1920s Berlin. It’s a compelling, captivating tale and at times it almost felt charming.
It’s beautifully written and just a pleasure to read. The use of some of the language from 1920s Berlin are a great addition, I enjoyed looking up the meaning of some while others were obvious it still added to the story for me.
On this one book I have read and I can see the reason so many readers loved this Author and the world will be a lesser place without his writing.
A 5 ⭐️ triumph and not only one the books of 2019 but one of the best since I started reviewing. I can not wait to discover the rest of the series from book 1 over the next year or 2
You can buy now at Amazon by clicking the link 👉