, 1943 Nick Tsente , 150 ,. A Beautiful Actress, A Rising Star Of The Giant German Film Company UFA, Now Controlled By The Propaganda Ministry The Very Clever, Very Dangerous Propaganda Minister Close Confidant Of Hitler, An Ambitious Schemer And Flagrant Libertine And Bernie Gunther, Former Berlin Homicide Bull, Now Forced To Do Favors For Joseph Goebbels At The Propaganda Minister S CommandThis Time, The Favor Is Personal And This Time, Nothing Is What It SeemsSet Down Amid The Killing Fields Of Ustashe Controlled Croatia, Bernie Finds Himself In A World Of Mindless Brutality Where Everyone Has A Hidden Agenda Perfect Territory For A True Cynic Whose Instinct Is To Trust No One This is the tenth mystery featuring Bernie Gunther and, having followed the series since the very first book, March Violets, in 1989, I am always happy to read a new Gunther novel Of course, the timeline in this series skips about and previous books have taken us from 1934 to 1950 This particular book begins with Bernie on the French Riviera in 1956 where watching a film starring Germany s Garbo, Dalia Dresner, causes him to look back on events in the summer of 1942 In fact, even within this one book, we begin in 1942 ,so after events in Prague Fatale, and then continue to events set after, A Man Without Breath It is 1942, and Bernie is in Berlin, working on the Murder Commission on Alexanderplatz Arthur Nebe has secured him a job with the War Crime Bureau, but first, of course, there is a little job that he would like Bernie to do for him After Heydrich s assassination, Nebe has found himself as acting president of the International Criminal Police Commission, and he wants to Gunther to give a talk on one of his famous cases Gunther s speech giving brings him back in contact with the Reich Ministry of Propaganda, where his speech is rewritten and, later in the book, back in contact with Goebbels Much of the joy of any Gunther book is in his sly and almost insolent humour and this novel certainly give him much to cast his jaundiced eye on Author Philip Kerr also resists the urge to dumb down to the reader and expects us to keep up with the twists and turns of the plot and the characters which enter and re enter the series not only major historical characters, but also those from earlier books Indeed, this novel sees Gunther s speech taking place at the Wannsee villa where Herr Minoux, first seen in March Violets, used to live Gunther is approached on behalf of Minoux s wife, who is looking for some evidence of wrong doing against those who are now living in her previous home, to see whether she can reclaim it As you can imagine, building a case against the SS now using the premises might be easy enough, but implementing it a little difficult As well as giving his speech, Gunther is asked to babysit two members of the Swiss Police and, of course, amongst other events, there is a murder.After events at the crime conference, we rejoin Gunther after the Katyn Forest Investigation, of A Man Without Breath, when he is summoned again to the Ministry of Truth and Propaganda by Goebbels Goebbels wants Dalia Dresner to appear in his new film, but she refuses until she learns the whereabouts of her missing father During his mission to locate Dresner s missing father and persuade her to become Goebbels new leading lady, Gunther goes first to Croatia and, later, to Switzerland During this fast paced novel, Gunther is shocked by the casual violence and killing in Croatia even considering the dreadful things he has witnessed so far , where Serbs are routinely killed in concentration camps, finds links between events at the beginning of the novel and those later in the story, has a case of mistaken identity, discovers plots, falls in love and manages to outwit enough people to stay alive.Although I do love the Bernie Gunther books very much, I do think this one suffered a little from all the plot jumps Considering what Gunther went through, even between the events in this novel, it is remarkable that he made the deductions he did to solve the mystery which had happened over a year and possibly what felt like a lifetime ago However, Gunther is a well developed, and likeable, enough character that I can overlook a little implausibility and even Gunther s constant falling in love This is a series where the joy is in the central character and the believable historical background Kerr makes wartime Berlin come alive and it is always a pleasure to revisit his world I was, therefore, delighted to read that he will be returning in 2016 and, even with my slight reservations about this novel, I know that I will read on.The Bernie Gunther series so far consists of March Violets The Pale CriminalA German RequiemThe One From the OtherA Quiet FlameIf the Dead Rise NotField GrayPrague FataleA Man Without Breath THE LADY FROM ZAGREB is the tenth book in Philip Kerr s Bernie Gunther series Gunther a former homicide detective before the rise of Nazism, an ideology that he finds abhorrent, is a character in absorbing historical thrillers that are set in Germany in the 1930s, World War II, and the Cold War Gunther is a very self effacing and likeable individual who is one quarter Jewish and has a propensity to offer humorous wisecracks that cut to the core of a German history between 1933 and 1945, a time frame that has destroyed the lives of millions of people In Kerr s current effort we find Gunther in the French Riviera circa, 1956 reminiscing about World War II, and his relationship with a beautiful German actress, Dalia Dresner The novel binds together a number of plot lines We find Dr Joseph Goebbles, the head of the Nazi Ministry of Propaganda and National Enlightenment with his own policy and sexual agenda a series of murders, one happening to have been a client of Gunther the intrigue of wartime Switzerland with spies ranging from the head of the Office of Strategic Services, Allen W Dulles to SS Brigadefuhrer Walter Schellenberg who would become the head of Nazi foreign intelligence a Hitlerite plan to invade Switzerland, and a plot to prevent such an invasion in the name of bringing about negotiations to end the war the barbarity and cruelty of the Balkans that fifty years later would explode in Yugoslavia and of course the machinations of Detective Gunther with his constant cynicism and sarcasm.Kerr is a talented writer who weaves important historical characters and events throughout his story The narrative involves numerous historical figures that include Dr Goebbles Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop SS Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler, in charge of the Nazi genocide of the Jews SS Obergruppenfuhrer Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Chief of the Reich Main Security Office SS Brigadefuhrer Schellenberg SS Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich, one of the main architects of the Holocaust and Chief of the Reich Main Security Office before his assassination SS Gruppenfuhrer Arthur Nebbe, Gunther s boss and a mass murderer in Bialystok during the war Allen W Dulles Anten Pavelic, Croatian leader of the murderous Ustase Hajj Amin al Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Nazi ally and many other important figures Historical events are also not neglected as the Russian genocide of Polish officers at the Katyn Forest the destruction of the Czech village of Lidice as punishment for the assassination of Heydrich the allied bombings of Dresden and Hamburg the slaughter in the Balkans and Nazi war plans are all integrated into the novel.Gunther s personality, wit, cynicism and charm remain the same in Kerr s latest effort His pointed historical commentary are as irreverent as always Finding himself in Croatia and a witness to the slaughter between Croats, Serbs and Muslims as he searches for Dalia Dresner s father, who supposedly is living in a monastery, brings about the question as to how does a Franciscan monk get to be an Ustase Colonel The answer offered is by being an efficient killer of Serbs In describing Goebbles, Gunther said that while he was wearing a white summer suit, he looked exactly like a male nurse in an insane asylum, which was perhaps not so very far from the truth In addition, upon meeting the Grand Mufti s guards, Gunther wondered why Hitler hated Jews and not Arabs After all, some Jews are just Muslims with better tailors In thinking about his own experiences on the eastern front and now facing the realities of the Holocaust, Gunther explores the competition inside the Nazi bureaucracy between the SS and SD, the Gestapo and the SD, Goebbles and Goering, Kalternbrunner and Himmler, the SS and the Nazi Party, the Luftwaffe and the Wehrmacht, and the role of German businesses In particular, Gunther is confronted by the use of slave labor by Siemens and Daimler Benz during the war and he hopes that in the future historians will research what they have done and inform the public Recently in the case of Siemens his request was answered by Sarah Helm s new book RAVENSBRUK, and in the case of Daimler Benz, Neil Gregor and Bernard Bellon have exposed their crimes, though neither corporation has ever admitted their guilt or paid the appropriate compensation to their victims Further, as he is confronted by death seemingly at every turn, Gunther ponders whether German crimes are the worst in history Referencing the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, the British in India, Belgians in the Congo, Spain in the New World, and Russia under Stalin in the 1930s, the detective surmises that Germany is in good company when it comes to historical atrocities.Gunther is an excellent detective that seems to find trouble no matter the situation At the outset Gunther, who has been transferred to the Third Reich War Crimes Department Kerr really has a sense of the absurd , is forced to make a speech at a police convention From that point on the story begins to evolve Gunther begins to investigate the murder of a former client at the same time as Goebbles assigns him to find Dalia s father On this mission Gunther becomes entangled with the Swiss police and other spies In addition, Gunther learns that there is an effort to try and bring about negotiations to end the war and that certain SS officials are buying barracks from the Swiss to use in concentration camps All of these situations come together, while at the same time Gunther tries to follow his conscience and accomplish his goals while working within the Nazi system As Kerr has written he does not like heroes who behave heroically, and in Bernie Gunther he has created just such a protagonist The dialogue between the characters is very entertaining and Kerr manages to repeatedly raise the issue of morality in the context of Gunther s actions, a very difficult task.Without going into any further detail of the story, Kerr has once again created a successful mystery that will keep the reader fascinated and entertained as they are taken to another time and place If you enjoyed the previous offerings in the Bernie Gunther novels, THE LADY FROM ZAGREB will not disappoint As far as Bernie Gunther s future is concerned in a recent interview Kerr said he was already planning for the eleventh book in the series. .O Kerr Kerr Kerr , 10. I won a copy of The Lady From Zagreb by New York bestseller author Philip Kerr, through the Goodreads Giveaway Contest This is Book 10, in the Bernard Gunther crime series While it is part of a series, and I have not read any of his books, I found that this novel can be read as a stand alone book.Written in the first person narrative, Bernie adventure takes him from Berlin to Zurich, then to Zagreb and to Croatia.This historical crime novel starts in 1956 with Bernie, a homicide detective, describing his life struggles living in Germany at that time Bernie who hates the Nazis is forced to do favors for Joseph Goebbels Now, he must convince a young actress, Dalia Dresner, a Switzerland resident to return to Germany to star in a propaganda film, now controlled by the Propaganda Ministry and close friend of Hitler Dalia is refusing to work on films or cooperate with Goebbels in any way, until she can find her long missing father Gunther s job is to find this man, who was once a priest and may now be a ruthless killer in Yugoslavia Swayed by her beauty, Bernie falls head over heels in love with The Lady From Zagreb and cannot say no This novel is set in a world of brutality where everyone has a hidden agenda Bernie s instinct is to trust no one I really liked Bernie s character, his humor and this novel is a great balance of murder mystery, historical fiction, action and romance An enjoyable read. The tenth Bernie Gunther novel and he falls in love Like all us mortal man he falls for a beautiful movie star and in doing so is shooting among Goebbels pigeons.Another brilliantly written novel in which we see through Gunther s eyes the face of evil during WWII Gunther not being a Nazi is a survivor in Nazi Germany 1942 43, he does questionable things while he is asked to employ his skills as a detective and an independent character after the madness of Katyn in Poland Russia he ends up in the nations that after WWII made up Yugoslavia on a mission that makes him question humanity and humans This books hops along in small parts that find their glue at the end of the novel By then you share Gunther s look upon a WWII madness that does give mankind a really bad reputation The evil that man is capable of is not something special, all are capable of doing so some are just gifted.At times you find Bernie Gunther a bit unsympathetic in his stances and approach to the situations he ends up in But then looking at the bigger picture you realize that these times nobody did end up looking smelling of roses.Kerr does paint a dark picture of the often glamorised WWII war circus, the insight he gives in the horrors of war should be made to read to everyone and explain at the same time that we as humans are still capable of insensitive behaviour on a scale that is perhaps not as large as that of the Nazis but we are capable of ignoring it just as good.I hope Mr Kerr does write a few novels with Gunther headlining as there is still a lot to be told of that era of darkness and its consequences There will be most certainly be one by the title of The other side of silence.I am certainly not reading anything about Nazis in my next book as they and their deeds freak the heck out of me. The 10th Bernie and, once , an excellent one I really enjoyed it and was glad to find it much better than the two previous Bernie s I do not read many detectives, but will always read a Bernie Gunther His wisecracks are extremely cynical and very funny Raymond Chandler comes close to it, but in my opinion Kerr is even witty This one is set in Croatia and Switzerland in 1943 Pretty interesting to read what happened in Yugoslavia at that time Who was siding with the Nazi s or Italians Croats, Bosnians and Serbs were killing each other just as ferociously as in the beginning of the 1990 s Reading about it, you must admire Tito in that he managed to unite all these groups who hated each other with great passion for such a long time I am relieved Kerr will write another Bernie to be published in 2016 Long live Bernie 11 standalone ,.