If the Dead Rise Not (A Bernie Gunther Novel)

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9780399156151: If the Dead Rise Not (A Bernie Gunther Novel)

An instant classic in the Bernie Gunther series, with storytelling that is fresher and more vivid than ever.

Berlin, 1934: The Nazis have secured the 1936 Olympiad for the city but are facing foreign resistance. Hitler and Avery Brundage, the head of the U.S. Olympic Committee, have connived to soft-pedal Nazi anti- Semitism and convince America to participate. Bernie Gunther, now the house detective at an upscale Berlin hotel, is swept into this world of international corruption and dangerous double-dealing, caught between the warring factions of the Nazi apparatus.

Havana, 1954: Batista, aided by the CIA, has just seized power; Castro is in prison; and the American Mafia is quickly gaining a stranglehold on the city's exploding gaming and prostitution industries. Bernie, who has been unceremoniously kicked out of Buenos Aires, has resurfaced in Cuba with a new life, seemingly one of routine and relative peace. But Bernie discovers that he truly cannot outrun the burden of his past: He soon collides with a vicious killer from his Berlin days, who is mysteriously murdered not long afterward-and an old lover, who may be the murderer.

If the Dead Rise Not is everything fans have come to expect from Philip Kerr: twisted intrigue, tight plotting, quick-witted one-liners, a hang-by-your-thumbs ending, and, most significant, a richer, wiser Bernie Gunther.

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About the Author:

Philip Kerr is the author of many novels, but perhaps most important are the five featuring Bernie Gunther—A Quiet Flame, The One from the Other, and the Berlin Noir trilogy (March Violets, The Pale Criminal, and A German Requiem). He lives in London and Cornwall, England, with his family.

From Booklist:

When we last saw Bernie Gunther, the Weimar Germany police detective and, later, reluctant SS officer in World War II had worn out his welcome in postwar Argentina (A Quiet Flame, 2009). Now it’s 1954, and Kerr’s cynical Chandlerian crime-solver has landed in Cuba, attempting to stay under the radar of those who consider him a Nazi war criminal. But Kerr is well aware that the heart and soul of his celebrated series remain in 1930s Berlin, where Weimar decadence sang its swan song to the rhythm of Brownshirts marching in lockstep. So, as he did in A Quiet Flame, Kerr combines the postwar story with a flashback to Bernie’s Berlin heyday. This time it’s 1934, and the Nazis are gearing up for the 1936 Olympics. Bernie falls headlong for American Jewish reporter Noreen Charalambides and agrees to help her promote a U.S. boycott of the Olympics by telling the real story about the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews. The plan falls apart, of course, leaving Bernie with a broken heart and Noreen on a boat for the States. Flash-forward to Havana, where Bernie runs into Noreen in a bookstore and quickly finds himself in another mess, this one involving American gangsters, Cuban rebels, and Noreen’s frisky daughter. There’s more than enough succulent atmosphere here for two novels, one for each setting. Both stories and both locales deserve star billing and seem a bit shortchanged without it. Still, there’s so much to enjoy here that it seems churlish to complain. On any continent, in any decade, no one does melancholy better than Bernie Gunther, and melancholy, after all, is the hard-boiled mystery fan’s emotion of choice. --Bill Ott

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