Prussian Blue

Prussian Blue

Book - 2017
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The French Riviera, 1956. Erich Mielke, deputy head of the East German Stasi, has turned up in Nice, and he's calling in a debt. Mielke wants Bernie go to London with the vial of Thallium, to poison a female agent they both have had dealings with. Friedrich Korsch, an old Kripo comrade now working for Stasi, is there to make sure Bernie gets the job done. As Bernie bolts for the German border, he recalls the summer of 1939, when the body of a low-level bureaucrat was found at Hitler's mountaintop retreat in Obersalzberg. Bernie and Korsch have one week to solve the murder.
Publisher: New York :, Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons,, [2017]
Edition: U.S. ed
Copyright Date: ℗♭2017
ISBN: 9780399177057
0399177051
Characteristics: 528 pages ; 24 cm

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Complex plot with the back and forth in time. I liked that less about this novel but otherwise an excellent story that evokes compassion and insight into ordinary people living in Nazi Germany.

t
theequ1nn
Jul 28, 2017

Basically seems to be a vehicle for explaining what the German Austrian people thought of the Nazi leaders, and their corruption in the Alps. (which by the way, is some of the most beautiful territory you will ever see). (i did live in that region for a few years). Kind of long winded, but the author was starting to faulter(?) with his Bernie series , but trained hard for this one.

g
gvenkatesh
Apr 30, 2017

One of the best in the series so far after a rare disappointment with the last year's entry.

In the contemporary world of mystery and historical crime fiction where authors write novels primarily hoping for a TV/Movie deal and therefore incorporate nothing more than a script thinly disguised as a novel, Philip Kerr stands out with impeccable historical research, attention to detail that immerses the reader in the period/locale/characters as good novels do and entertaining dialogue that just wouldn't translate well into TV/Big Screen (the typical length of each character's uttering in a dialogue alone would make scriptwriters consider early retirement).

The protagonist detective is a Berliner at odds with Nazi Germany while employed in it and swept along with the political rapids of the time barely in control of his own destiny. Combine that with self-deprecation and witty thoughts as only British authors can do, and you have a sympathetic and entertaining character.

Going back to a previously used formula of two intertwined tales from pre- and post-war periods, the novel is great storytelling using real characters from Nazi Germany. For people prone to making superficial comparisons with current US leadership, there may be some wincing moments from perceived parallels while making a point that it isn't just a charismatic, unprincipled and easily influenced "leader" that can be dangerous but the many opportunists surrounding him that exploit such "leadership" for their own agenda and ends.

The conclusions to the two tales is a bit predictable and anti-climactic. The gravity of the darkness of the period understandably leads to a philosophical soliloquy to end the rather hefty book but it is the journey that makes the time spent worth it.

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