Top positive review
on June 1, 2011
Book 6, in the Bernie Gunther series
The readers are carried deeper into Bernie's saga in this terrific story that flips from 1934 Berlin into the rapidly changing world of 1954 Havana. The blend of madness and murder mixed with the Nazi and the Batista era creates an action packed backdrop for an exciting read and Mr. Kerr knows how to spice it up and to deliver it well.
1934, Germany is preparing to host the 1936 Olympic Games.
The action begins when Bernie, the house detective of the Hotel Adlon discovers the body of a German businessman with strong construction industry ties dead in his room. With a body and a multitude of clues, Bernie's investigation propels him into a world of international corruption and dangerous double dealings involving American gangsters, corrupt Nazis and an insight into Hitler's plan for the 1936 Olympics.
Meanwhile, Noreen Chalambides, an American journalist is also a patron of the hotel, she is on assignment to expose the Nazi regime and convince the American powers that be they should boycott the Olympics'.Bernie soon finds himself infatuated by her charming personality.
Two thirds into the novel, the action switches to post war- Cuba 1954
After being expelled from Argentina (the previous novel 'A Quiet Flame') Bernie relocates to Havana with the hope of living a less stressful life under an assumed name. That soon changes when he runs into his old flame, the journalist Noreen, and is invited to her home for a dinner party. Bernie sees this as a chance to rekindle a previous relationship but he quickly learns Noreen has another agenda. Unable to escape his past and head first into the presence, he learns he is still the target of a vicious killer and due to his recent acquaintances he finds himself caught up in the smoldering rebellious movement which is being magnified by Fidel Castro incarceration.
Mr. Kerr's stories are told entirely in dialogue, there is a lot of chatter going on mostly handled by Bernie, I love this, it makes you part of the story. I really enjoy Bernie, he is funny even when dealing with serious issues, he is not portrayed as the customary super hero as found in most novels of this genre. The plot is dynamic and captivating with many twists and turns and tense situations, an attention grabber to the last page. Although, highly entertaining the story is a tad predictable and less realistic than the previous novels, nevertheless following Bernie on his escapades is always a blast, and a journey into historical fiction.
I am looking forward to Bernie's next exploits.