Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Shocktrooper in a stupor

I just noticed that Philip Kerr's super-fantastic Berlin novels have been reissued. For quite some time you had to pony up the cash for the three book omnibus edition. Now you can get the Pale Criminal and March Violets in paperback, but apparently we must still wait for the German Requiem. The books feature a German cop in Nazi Germany trying to solve murders while staying out of the way of the increasingly dangerous Nazi party. The books are claustrophobic and do a nice job presenting the evil of that time. They are also short and have the feel of classic noir. It's too bad the German Requiem remains out of print, as it is an homage to one of the finest movies ever, the Third Man*.

It's a bit of a bummer, but since the Berlin books Kerr has been on a downward spiral, working mostly on pedestrian technothrillers. Not that I haven't read all of them. Well most of them at least. Hitler's Peace just looked a bit weak despite the return to period fiction. With the new Alan Furst nearly here, why bother anyway.

*Make sure you get the Criterion Collection and not the crappy original American release. They changed a few things, not that much, but it makes a difference.

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