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Prague Fatale

(Bernie Gunther #8)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  6,425 ratings  ·  570 reviews
September 1941. Bernie Gunther returns from the horrors of the Eastern Front to find his home city of Berlin changed, and changed for the worse. Now back at his old desk on Homicide in Kripo HQ, Alexanderplatz, Bernie starts to investigate the death of a Dutch railway worker, while starting something - of an entirely different nature - with a local good-time girl.

But he is
Kindle Edition, 527 pages
Published by Cuercus (first published October 27th 2011)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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Bebe (Sarah) Brechner
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've been reading my way through all of Kerr's Bernie Gunther novels. What an astonishing writer - the subject is Nazi Germany and the perspective is from a jaded, Berlin police detective who is decidedly not a Nazi and yet is forced to work with the worst of the worst, and, yes, he eventually, unwillingly goes into the SS. Vivid details of a nightmarish Germany both pre-WWII and afterwards. Details moral collapse and ordinary people's responses - both good and hideous. I don't think anyone else ...more
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the first page of this book, I was hooked up and please mind that I was avoiding HF quite a lot lately, because I was not in the mood. Definitely Kerr has a magical pen and can keep readers in his story until the end. 2nd WW, is not my theme at all, but author has built a character so unconventional, that “rocks”.. I have also to give credit to the details mentioned in the book, regarding everyday life in Germany of the 1942 (that proves the extensive research author has done) . Conclusivel ...more
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This is the 8th Bernie Gunther “historical adventure” – the series runs from the 1930’s through the 50’s. Bernie is a Berlin detective – whether in police uniform or not – and has been described elsewhere as the “only honest cop in Nazi Germany”. Regardless of when each of the books occurs – before, during or after WWII – Bernie – whether while inside or outside of the regime – is fighting his own one man war against the Nazis. There’s more than a little Philip Marlowe/Sam Spade to Gunther – jad ...more
Jun 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
My second "Bernie" and a enjoyable read. A well-written tale involving murder, criminals, senior Nazis and a the cities of Berlin and Prague.

A good deal of background in the story and the characters are real people. This makes for a fascinating story with fact and fiction melded together.

Some reviewers have criticised this but it is fiction and whilst there is licence in the main the events are acceptable enough to not erase credibility.

Overall, an enjoyable and fast-paced historical fiction cr
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have not read all of the Bernie Gunther books. I will have to correct that error. Philip Kerr will be missed. This was one awesome read.
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
After his adventures in Argentina, Cuba, USA, Vienna, Munich, Russia, & Paris we’re back in both place and time - Berlin in 1941 - where a disillusioned and suicidal Bernie is back at his old desk working Homicide in Kripo HQ after the horrors of the Eastern Front. Berlin in 1941 is a city of severe rationing, blackouts & RAF bombing raids, the S-Bahn murderer, Czech terrorists and widespread disillusionment.

Initially I was frustrated that this book does not move Bernie’s "present day" story fo
Jun 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recent-favorites
This is the eighth book featuring Bernie Gunther, Philip Kerr's Berlin detective. The series has taken Bernie from the 1930's, as the Nazis are coming to power, to 1950, when he gets caught up in Cold War espionage, and now back to the war years. “Prague Fatale” is set in 1941 and Bernie has returned from the Eastern Front – where he has seen unspeakable horrors – to the Berlin Kriminalpolizei (“Kripo”), where he is investigating the murder of a Dutch railroad worker and contemplating suicide. W ...more
L Fleisig
Apr 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Phillip Kerr's latest Bernie Gunther novel, Prague Fatale, is a very much welcome addition to the Bernie Gunther series. For those new to the series, Bernie Gunther is a cop, a detective. But he isn't just any detective. He's a Berliner and he has been working the streets from the days of the Weimar Republic on through to the regime of Adolf Hitler. Like most `hard-boiled' detectives, Gunther likes to toe his own line and has a fierce independent streak. Of course independence is not a prized at ...more
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc
Updated 12-20-13, this is in my 10 top reads for 2013. I've picked books that I remember instantly when I look through the list, either because the plot was great, the subject matter was different or the writing was excellent.

This was my first Bernie Gunther novel and Kerr is a strong writer. His details of the food, clothing, manners, clubs, etc of wartime Germany was amazing. Because of Gunther's travels and investigations, the research has to detail all the ranges from very poor to highest cl
Rob Kitchin
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The four great strengths of Kerr’s Bernie Gunther series is the historicization within the Nazi regime, a strong noir voice, the lead character - a self-loathing, cynical, cantankerous cop with a moral core - and well constructed stories. Prague Fatale delivers on the first two of these in spades. Kerr drops us into Berlin and Prague in 1941, the politics, the power-games within the Nazi regime, the suffering, the resistance. He evokes a very strong sense of place and time. The prose and dialogu ...more
May 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Another outstanding glimpse into the dark days of Nazi Germany with that knight in tarnished armor, Bernie Gunther. And it's a locked room mystery with more than a nod to Agatha Christie. It starts with Bernie back from the Eastern Front, disgusted at what he saw of the war there, glad to be back in Berlin as a cop. Then Reinhard Heidrich, a man he loathes, summons him to what used to be Czechoslovakia to be a special investigator for him in a castle full of overdecorated Nazi generals. There ar ...more
Prague Fatale by Philip Kerr is a fic­tional book in the Bernie Gun­ther series. This is the eighth book in the series which brings up the ques­tion: just how many lives does Bernie Gun­ther has?

Bernie Gun­ther returns from the Easter Front to find that 1941 Berlin is not the city he left – and not for the bet­ter. Life is unpleas­ant in Berlin due to black­outs, Czech ter­ror­ists, RAF bomb­ings and food rationing.

When Bernie’s old boss Rein­hard Hey­drich of the Sicher­heits­di­enst (SD) order
A while ago I read March Violets, the first in Philip Kerr’s series featuring Bernie Gunther, a detective in Berlin during the Third Reich.

Initially I was gripped by the story, but it soon went off in a direction I did not particularly care for.

Yet, here I am years later reading another Bernie Gunther novel. Why? What for? – you may ask. Well, the plot of this one sounded a bit more interesting. A bit more like a proper whodunit in the style of Agatha Christie.

However it turned out to be a very
switterbug (Betsey)
Apr 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
In 1941, Berlin police detective Bernie Gunther flirts with suicide as a way out of his wretched life. He loathes Nazi Germany, but has orders to serve and protect the Reich, and feels like an imposter, a blur of who he was before the crimes that he was commanded to execute in Belorussia. Nazi newspapers trumpet their clarion call that “the Jews are our misfortune,” while Germany struggles to maintain their strength against the advancing Russian army.

Berlin is barely recognizable, with everythi
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
It’s 1941 and Bernie is back in Berlin from his work with the SD (Sicherheitsdienst), the intelligence arm of the SS (the Kripo, Kriminalpolizei, or German equivalent to CID, were under the SD.). Having been exposed there the the truly awful ethnic cleansing and retribution of the “special action” squads who were killing rather indiscriminately, he’s considering suicide. Always skeptical of Naziism, he’s dragged into an investigation of a railway worker who had been murdered and then left on the ...more
Nick Brett
Oct 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Philip Kerr’s eighth Bernie Gunther thriller is set in Prague in 1941. Heydrich, now in charge over there, summons Bernie to give him security advice. On arrival Bernie is confronted with a ‘locked room’ murder and the suspects are all rather senior officers. Bernie has brought his new girlfriend with him but soon realises that Prague is a dangerous place for them both and all is not what it seems.....

Any Bernie Gunther book is a joy and this is no exception. Although the subject matter is far f
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of historical whodunnits
Recommended to Mark by: Ed
Once again Bernie Gunther is called to do a job for his benefactor, or vitamine B as it is called by the Nazi's, General Heydrich or is the man his nemesis? Anyhow he requires the services of a real policeman and not some Party policeman, and Bernie is indeed the real deal.
While the story for Bernie starts in Berlin pretty soon his services are required in Prague, still one of Europes most beautifull cities (perhaps even in the world!) and it is there that he must solve the murder of one of the
Mr. Gottshalk
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After the horrible year that was 2020, I am proud to announce that I reached my reading goal of 75 books on New Year’s Eve at 10:45 PM!
And what a way to end the year. This is an absolute dynamite historical mystery-fiction blend, as Commisar Bernie Gunther, the last honest detective in 1941 Berlin, is dispatched to Prague by a powerful Nazi officer. There are a lot of side characters to keep in line, but I did it. Much of the middle of the book is a series of unforgettable interviews with a cast
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've devoured all of the Bernie Gunther novels, wonderful mash-ups of police procedurals and WWII historical espionage starring a horny & ornery Weimer liberal who somehow manages to stay alive during the rise of Nazism and its aftermath throughout Europe and Latin America. So naturally I snapped up the latest with eager anticipation -- where would Bernie go next? Interestingly, he went back to 1941 -- an unusual non-chronological story within this decades-long story world -- and a chance to add ...more
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent entry by Philip Kerr of his noir style series featuring Bernie Gunther , a Berlin police homicide detective during the time when Hitler was in power. The plots are engaging and incorporate real historical events and many of the real personages of the time. Bernie is an angst filled character who tries to retain a semblance of integrity and humanity as he is confronted with the very worst that the human species can offer. The characters are nicely drawn and the dialogue is rich ...more
Dec 12, 2015 rated it liked it
There are now two 'Bernie' books under my belt. I think it is time to start from the beginning of this series. A few more questions are emerging about the main character that reading these out of sequence has probably only made more noticeable.

The pacing of these books is slower than I usually want in detective/mystery books. They make up for it with the different story line and setting.
Oct 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Philip Kerr does it again. Bernie Gunther is back in Berlin from the Ukraine. It is not long before he is summoned to Prague by his old nemesis Reinhard Heydrich who has a proposition to put to him...
Scott Head
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spoilers hinted at ahead:

Another good mystery set in real times, with real historical figures. What is enjoyable about the Bernie Gunther series is that our protagonist seems to find himself involved in every single major event of the period. He personally interacts with just about every well-known historical figure of his day. That can put some people off, since it is rather far-fetched that any one human finds himself at every major point of a historical WWII-era timeline. But it is the formul
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Crime meets spy meets WWII meets Prague (fatale)

Yet another excellent Bernie Gunther novel, entirely set during the war with none other protagonist than Reinhardt Heydrich-whom we already met in a previous book.

On the verge of depression after his stint in Ukraine Bernie is back as a criminal komissar in Berlin. While he's on two murder cases he is called in Prague by Heydrich himself to ensure his security. Freshly arrived, Bernie is already on another case: the murder of one of Heydrich's assi
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I may be suffering Bernie Gunther fatigue. Too many of these well-written, extremely dark novels and I start to notice things like overused words and phrases (“defenestration” and “put paid,” for example). The book itself is probably the most typical detective story (with the usual sadistic twists) of the series so far, and I’d probably have enjoyed it more had I not recently watched the 1933 Philo Vance move “The Kennel Murder Case” and figured out the “mystery” early on.

Anyway, it’s, as usual,
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: le-fiction, favorites
Lucky find.

Every book is better when it has some personal story about it, and this one definitely does.
I was taking part in a youth exchange project in Romania, and had to go through 2 airports to get home, the last one was in Belgium, and as I had to spend there 14h - I thought that there is no better way of spending time than reading some good book (back then didn't know how close to a description of a "good book" I was). But the moment I walked into the book-store a revelation struck me - 99
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
If you've read any of the seven previous books in the Bernie Gunther series, you'll know that Gunther had some personal history with SS Reichsprotector Heydrich -- the architect of the "Final Solution" and regarded by many as the evilest of the many evil men who were responsible for the Holocaust. And if you know a bit about World War II, you'll know that Heydrich was killed in 1942 by Czech and Slovak soldiers trained by the British. This eighth installment in the Gunther series opens at Heydri ...more
Mal Warwick
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I find historical fiction grounded in fact irresistible. When a plot rests on events that really took place and characters who really lived, I’m prepared to give the author a little slack if the writing style is less than engaging.

A hard-boiled detective in Hitler’s Germany

Fortunately, I don’t have to make any such compromise when it comes to Philip Kerr’s series of novels featuring Berlin detective Bernie Gunther. I’ve just finished reading Prague Fatale, the eighth book in the series. I’m stil
Mar 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sherlock Holmes fans, or fans of historical fiction set in World War II
Recommended to Jessica by: I received it in a Goodreads giveaway.
I want to begin by thanking the publisher, Marian Wood Books (G.P. Putnam's Sons), from whom I received a free copy of the uncorrected proof via a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

Since mysteries are not my typical modus operandi, I wasn't sure what to expect when I first picked up this novel. From the back cover, I deduced (in true detective fashion), that there had been seven previous Bernie Gunther novels. This either meant that I was in for a very compelling story, or a chain of pulp mystery n
Donald Luther
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was the fourth of Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther novels that I've read. All are very good and well worth taking the time to make your way through this sinister world of the 1930s-1950s. For the uninitiated, Bernie is a Police Commissar in Berlin during and after the Nazi era, who finds himself investigating homicides against the background of, for example, the Berlin Olympics, the search for Adolph Eichmann or, in this case, the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich.

If you like noir-type novels,
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Goodreads Librari...: Please combine and add description 2 12 Aug 06, 2020 07:31AM  
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Philip Kerr was a British author. He was best known for his Bernie Gunther series of 13 historical thrillers and a children's series, Children of the Lamp, under the name P.B. Kerr.

Librarian’s note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Other books in the series

Bernie Gunther (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • March Violets (Bernie Gunther, #1)
  • The Pale Criminal (Bernie Gunther, #2)
  • A German Requiem (Bernie Gunther, #3)
  • The One from the Other (Bernard Gunther, #4)
  • A Quiet Flame (Bernie Gunther, #5)
  • If The Dead Rise Not (Bernard Gunther, #6)
  • Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7)
  • A Man Without Breath (Bernie Gunther #9)
  • The Lady from Zagreb (Bernard Gunther, #10)
  • The Other Side of Silence (Bernie Gunther, #11)

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27 likes · 16 comments
“The real question here is what happens to you, Gunther. In many ways you’re a useful fellow to have around. Like a bent coat hanger in a toolbox, you’re not something that was ever designed for a specific job, but you do manage to come in useful sometimes.” 6 likes
“I don’t much like opera, either. Especially Wagner. There’s something about Wagner that’s just too piss-German, too fucking Bavarian for a Prussian like me. I like my music to be every bit as vulgar as I am myself. I like a bit of innuendo and stocking-top when a woman’s singing a song.” 0 likes
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