If the Dead Rise Not: Book summary and reviews of If the Dead Rise Not by Philip Kerr

If the Dead Rise Not

A Bernie Gunther Novel

By Philip Kerr

If the Dead Rise Not
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2010,
    448 pages.

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Book Summary

Berlin, 1934: The Nazis have secured the 1936 Olympiad for the city but are facing foreign resistance. Hitler and Avery Brundage, the head of the U.S. Olympic Committee, have connived to soft-pedal Nazi anti-Semitism and convince America to participate. Bernie Gunther, now the house detective at an upscale Berlin hotel, is swept into this world of international corruption and dangerous double-dealing, caught between the warring factions of the Nazi apparatus.

Havana, 1954: Batista, aided by the CIA, has just seized power; Castro is in prison; and the American Mafia is quickly gaining a stranglehold on the city's exploding gaming and prostitution industries. Bernie, who has been unceremoniously kicked out of Buenos Aires, has resurfaced in Cuba with a new life, seemingly one of routine and relative peace. But Bernie discovers that he truly cannot outrun the burden of his past: He soon collides with a vicious killer from his Berlin days, who is mysteriously murdered not long afterward-and an old lover, who may be the murderer.

If the Dead Rise Not is everything fans have come to expect from Philip Kerr: twisted intrigue, tight plotting, quick-witted one-liners, a hang-by-your-thumbs ending, and, most significant, a richer, wiser Bernie Gunther.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Once again the author smoothly integrates a noir crime plot with an authentic historical background." -Publishers Weekly

"The pace is cracking, the dialogue crisply Chandleresque, the mise-en-scene and characterisation refreshingly stereotype free... Bernie Gunther is an iconic creation and each book a treat to look forward to." - The Times (UK)

"Kerr's period detail is utterly convincing. The way he captures a lost Berlin on the brink of cataclysmic change is in turns poignant and gritty....[T]he city and its citizens are caught insect-like in the amber of Kerr's words. A sophisticated thriller." - The Independent (UK)

"[W]e should all be taking (and reading) him and the best of his genre more seriously." - Evening Standard (UK)

"Something special." - The Daily Telegraph (UK)

"As rich in historical atmosphere as any Alan Furst thriller and leavened by the cutting wit of Bernie's cynicism, this outstanding roman noir will delight readers of detective fiction and historical thrillers alike." - Library Journal

"Starred Review." - Kirkus Reviews

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Author Information

Philip Kerr Author Biography

Philip Kerr was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and studied at the University of Birmingham. Following university he worked as a copywriter at a number of advertising agencies, during which time he wrote no advertising slogans of any note. He spent most of his time in advertising researching an idea he had for a novel.

His first book in the Bernie Gunther series, March Violets, was published in 1989. He has written for the Sunday Times, Evening Standard and the New Statesman. In addition to at least eleven books for adults including the Bernie Gunther series, he is also the author of the Children of the Lamp series which he writes under the name P.B. Kerr.

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