Most helpful positive review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great story and characters...
on May 4, 2010
This is the first Philip Kerr-Bernie Gunther novel I've read, even though I am a great fan of historical fiction, particularly World War 1 and World War 2 genre. I picked this up and even though I probably should have started with Kerr's earlier books to get an idea of the Bernie Gunther character, this book was a very good read.
Set in Berlin in 1934 and involving some hefty plot points like Nazis, the coming Berlin Olympics, and several suspicious deaths Bernie investigates, the same characters meet up in Havana 20 years later. People are still meeting untimely ends and Bernie, who has evidently lived a cat's nine lives in the intervening twenty years, is involved. Many "real life people" make appearances in the book, including the whole Meyer Lansky crowd in 1950's Havana gambling spots and hotels.
Kerr is an excellent writer. He introduces plot points and characters who, in a lesser writer's hand, would seem slightly ridiculous. As a first time reader of the Gunther novels, I was introduced to nuanced character whose adventures I will now seek out in Kerr's backlist.