(The first book in the Bernie Gunther series)
A terrific setting for a crime novel. Hard to ignore the events that will soon overtake all the characters. Although the progression of the story was interesting, I disliked its conclusion.
It is very difficult to write hard boiled detective fiction with the snap and wit of Hammett or Chandler, but Philip Kerr manages to accomplish this against the backdrop of pre-war Berlin with an ex-cop PI in the mould of Sam Spade. The writing is excellent (and frequently funny), the story moves briskly, and you learn about what it was like to live day-to-day in Germany under the Nazis. Highly recommended.
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