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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Berlin Noir

Like most everybody I enjoy the occasional crime novel and film noir. In particular if they take place in Berlin maybe (like The Good German) but I enjoy the regional setting in general (as with Tony Hillerman and James Lee Burke). Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir series, which consists of three novels March Violets, The Pale Criminal, and A German Requiem revolving around Bernie Gunther the kind of brash-talking crime hunter on the out of traditional police forces and fighting his own demons as much as others' crimes - kind of like Dave Robicheaux really only in the Berlin of the 30s.

This is not la grande littérature as you would put it in French, but it makes for an entertaining read and Kerr's research is good enough to escape my criticism with few German-language or German history errors contained in these novels. Dagmarr is spelled with one r only of course, but I had to actually read up about Arthur Nebe on Wikipedia before I could appreciate the historical accuracy of Kerr's wildly fantastic and speculative story-telling.

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