Publisher's Summary

Ex-policeman Bernie Gunther thought he'd seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin - until he turned freelance and is sucked further into the grisly excesses of Nazi subculture. The year is 1936 and Berlin is preparing for the Olympic Games. Some of Bernie's Jewish friends are beginning to realise that they should have left while they could, and Bernie himself has been hired by a wealthy industrialist to investigate two murders that reach high into the Nazi Party.
Hard-hitting, fast-paced, and richly detailed, March Violets is noir writing at its best and blackest.
©1989 Philip Kerr (P)2008 Isis Publishing Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"A brilliantly innovative thriller-writer." ( Salman Rushdie)
"Echoes of Raymond Chandler but better on his vivid and well-researched detail than the master." ( Evening Standard)
"Taut, brutal, coarse, believable and gripping stuff." ( Sunday Telegraph)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Margaret on 20-04-2011

Missed the mark

An interesting premise, and a book that ought to have appealed. But, why does the main character have an American voice? At first, I thought there would be some explanation -- the hero is some sort of Rick figure who got stranded in Germany in the war, or maybe he had an American parent from whom he learned English -- but no, the story makes clear he spent his life in Germany with German parents. Not sure which is more insulting: the idea that a good person wouldn't have a German accent, or that a presumably mostly American audience can't listen to an accent for the entire length of an audio book. Recommend one read the book, not listen to it. Let your inner voice provide the appropriate voices.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By David on 23-10-2008

one ain't enough - next, please!

Just finishing this first of three of the series of novels by Philip Kerr - can't wait to dig into the next installment.. notwithstanding that these are rather dark but funny (but only in that 1930's bleak prewar Germany kind of funny) novels.

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3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By chris on 19-01-2009

Traditional detective idioms in an unusual setting

Berlin at the time of the 1936 Olympics, the growing threat of Nazism and a cynical detective investigating a double murder. The main protagonist is narrated with a Philip Marlow-esque American accent, with all the other characters having German accents - a conceit I got to enjoy. A great detective story, enhanced with the historically interesting setting. This is the first in a series, that I'm happily working my way through. Highly recommended.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Hector Chub on 08-07-2010

Interesting, a bit ponderous. Great period detail

A good and very interesting story, prinicipally for the period detail of Germany in 1936. The American accent of Gunther would have been more acceptable had the other excellent voices not been in strongly accented German. The reader is ok though. Whether the Marlowesque dialogue would have been so effective in German accent is something I can't answer.

Story is a bit ponderous and over-written - constant detailed descriptions of walking across the room, opening a door, openings of letters tended to slow the story down.

Kerr also likes you to know how much research he has done - and it's a lot. Good for it's exploration of pre-war Germany under the Nazis, bad in the exposition of hundreds of locations irrelevant to keeping the story moving.

Quite witty and sharp at times but it definitely ain't classic Chandler.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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