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Summary

During a sweltering heat wave in the summer of 1938, the German people anxiously await the outcome of the Munich conference, wondering whether the Fuhrer will plunge Europe into another war.

Meanwhile, private investigator Bernie Gunther is hired by a rich widow to find out who has been blackmailing her, as well as by the Berlin criminal police to track down a serial killer. Temporarily promoted to the rank of Kommissar, Gunther sets out to solve the dual mysteries amid the tensions of pre-war.

Hard-hitting, fast-paced and richly detailed, Philip Kerr's second Bernie Gunther novel is nothing short of spell-binding.

©1990 Philip Kerr (P)2008 Isis Publishing Ltd

Critic reviews

"Bernie Gunther's the right kind of hero for his time - and ours." ( New York Times)

What listeners say about The Pale Criminal

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Second in the series and just as good

This is the second title in the "Berlin Noir" trilogy. Set in Berlin of 1938, Bernie Gunther is investigating a serial killer specialising in young German girls. Meanwhile, elements of the Nazi party are attempting to use the killings to stir up anti-Jewish rioting. An excellent story, with more interesting detail of Berlin in the 30's and the Nazi threat.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating pre war Nazi German setting

My first Phillip Kerr book. I enjoyed the story of the individuals in the setting of a comming Nazi state. Well enjoyed isnt the right word probably fascinating that so many failed to challenge the holocaust and stand up for what was right. But how easy is it to take tha path. Jeff Hardings narration was first class. Only problem is from tine to time i felt i was in a Jack Reacher Book because it was Jeff narrating. Wonder if this is why the narrator changes later in the series.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Kerr and Harding - another winner for the team

Would you consider the audio edition of The Pale Criminal to be better than the print version?

The chance to listen to more of Philip Kerr's books is a pleasure I look forward to.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Pale Criminal?

The accuracy of his research and the authenticity he gives to the setting and background events really bring his characters to life.

What about Jeff Harding’s performance did you like?

Mr Harding's performance truly brings out the dry wit with which Kerr has endowed Bernie Gunther.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Gunther's cynicism hasn't left him as he is persuaded to serve his new Nazi bosses, but his passion for the truth and justice still shines through.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable Yarn

This was an enjoyable detective story and the setting - late nineteen thirties Germany - added to the interest. I did however find the hard boiled American narration a wee bit annoying, especially as the narrator made such a good job of the other German characters.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great period feel

i really enjoyed the hard-boiled detective in this series and the backdrop of 1930s Berlin provides a sinister atmophere. All the series are good but I did not enjoy Philip Kerr's other books. Luckily he has return to the Bernie Gunther stories

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

fantastic listen

I did not know much about Germany before the war. It paints a picture of a country on a downhill slope,where serial killers, thugs and politicians do what they like.
It is a fasinating listen and a great thriller.
It kept me listening right to the end. I really enjoy these books and the characters are gritty, real and have plenty of human faults.
This novel is a 1st rate listen.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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gripping and funny

nicely narrative of an enthralling adventures of Bernie . Enjoyed every minute of it. thanks

2 people found this helpful

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Bernie Gunther back in Kripo

Fascinating to have a detective story set in Nazi Germany. The idea is brilliant, the reading is good without being fantastic but the story is a bit too fantastic at times.

But all in all a very good listen.

Recommended

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Gripping

Another brilliant Philip Kerr novel set in 1930's Germany. The gripping story of private eye Gunther and his search for the gruesome murderer of several young German girls in the early days of Nazi regime.
Read superbly by Jeff Harding captivating voice who brings the novel to life and fires your imagination.
I listened to this audio whilst making a quilt.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

interesting, racy unfolding of events

interesting read/listen, but like other books of Philip Kerr, this too finishes abruptly, a gracefully crafted closure of the story doesn't seem to be a strong point of Philip's writing. nevertheless it's an interesting and engaging read/listen. voice is also reasonably good except a few places where a feminine voice by a male is too obvious and unpleasant. but we can ignore such foibles.