By Philip Kerr
September 1941: Bernie Gunther returns from the horrors of the jap entrance to discover his domestic urban of Berlin replaced, and altered for the more severe. The blackout, rationing, the RAF, the S-Bahn assassin and Czech terrorists are all conspiring to make existence very disagreeable. Now again at his outdated table on murder in Kripo HQ, Alexanderplatz, Bernie begins to enquire the loss of life of a Dutch railway employee, whereas beginning anything - of a wholly diverse nature - with an area good-time lady.
But he's obliged to drop every thing whilst his outdated boss, Reinhard Heydrich of the SD, the hot Reichsprotector of Bohemia and Moravia, orders him to Prague to spend a weekend at his state condominium. it truly is a call for participation Bernie feels he might gladly were spared, in particular whilst he meets his fellow visitors - them all senior loathsome figures within the SS and SD.
The weekend turns bitter shortly while a physique is located, in a room that was once locked from the interior. Now the highlight falls on Bernie to teach off his investigative abilities and remedy this likely very unlikely secret. If he fails to take action, he is familiar with what's at stake - not just his attractiveness, but in addition that of Reinhard Heydrich, a guy who doesn't prefer to lose face.
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Extra info for Prague Fatale: A Bernie Gunther Novel (Bernie Gunther Mystery 8)
With his rosy cheeks, his easy smile and his impeccable clothes he always reminded me of Herman Göring. Without a doubt both men enjoyed their food, although the Reichsmarshal had always given me the impression that he might just have eaten me, too, if he’d been hungry enough. Willy liked his food; but he liked people more. There were no customers in the restaurant – not yet – and Willy was checking the blackout curtains when I poked my nose around the door. Like any good maître d’ he spotted me immediately and quickly came my way on invisible casters.
In there he filled my bread bag with as many cans as it could carry. ‘When these cans are gone come and get some more, if you’re still at liberty. ’ ‘Now I have a small favour to ask you, Bernie. Which might even be to your advantage. There’s an American journalist staying here in the hotel. One of several, as it happens. His name is Paul Dickson and he works for the Mutual Broadcasting System. He would dearly like to visit the war front but apparently such things are forbidden. Everything is forbidden now.
The clock in my bedroom – my mother’s walnut Vienna wall clock – was never the same again. On other nights I just lay there and waited for the grey light to strengthen at the edge of the dusty curtains and the total emptiness of another day. Courage was no good anymore. Nor was being brave. The endless interrogation of my wretched self produced not regret but only more self-loathing. To all outside eyes I was the same man I had always been: Bernie Gunther, Kriminal Commissar, from the Alex; and yet I was merely a blur of who I had been.
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