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March Violets by Philip Kerr

March Violets (1989)

by Philip Kerr

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bernie Gunther (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7843717,833 (3.63)154
  1. 00
    The Fatherland Files by Volker Kutscher (otori)
    otori: Die Akte Vaterland set in 1932 with the Prussian Coup is a kind of forerunner to March Violets set in 1936.

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English (28)  Spanish (3)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (37)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
I'd had this small tome that I'd picked up at a used book store a few years ago waiting on my shelf. Finally picked up Berlin Noir. I was in it for the Berlin aspect, but then discovered I'm not really fond of the detective noir style. Some turns of phrase were either directly translated from German (though it was not originally written in German) or deliberately strange. The sex and violence seemed formulaic. I did care enough to make it to the end of the first of the trilogy, but the next two will be donated away, unread. (July 16, 2004) ( )
  cindywho | May 27, 2019 |
Had its moments, but the stylized prose, mixed with our narrator's tedious objectification (in that same terrible corkscrew English) of literally every female character he meets, got real tiresome. ( )
  winedrunksea | Jan 23, 2019 |
Very good modern noir. This was a little harsher at times than I expected, in the language and descriptions, surprised a bit at times. Also, It seemed the last 20 pages are a pretty enormous part of the book and kind of just tacked on? It's almost like a completely different book. Odd. Still, very good and I'll likely read more of them. ( )
  BooksForDinner | Jun 7, 2018 |
Very good noir novel set in Nazi Germany. Kerr clearly knows the noir detective formula, and the setting is well-done. It feels immersive, not forced. ( )
  MichaelBarsa | Dec 17, 2017 |
This is a masterful beginning to a dark series about a private detective who first begins in 1936 Germany. The time and the setting are essential to the narrative, placing the story in a dark soul-drenching time and place where a socialist authoritarian police state has taken root. For good reason, the Berlin of the 1930's is a place of fear and terror and conformity. There are those who are selling their worldly possessions for ten cents on the dollar in the hopes of escaping. And there are those who know nowhere else and are conforming to the demands of political correctness run amuck, repeating sayings they do not believe in and posting photographs in their living room so that, if the Gestapo visits, they will see nothing but loyal Germans. It is a book which takes the reader into the depths of a despairing world, a police state where people keep disappearing and the business of looking for missing persons is booming for a detective, not that anyone who disappears is ever heard from again. It evokes North Korea and Stalinist Soviet Union, where no freedom truly existed and people just disappeared. Into this maelstrom, we find a noir unlike few others that have been written. At first when I encountered this series, I wondered about the setting - an odd choice - but now I see how the setting is so important and so fundamental to the story. There is nothing sugarcoated about the description of the Third Reich and its evils even in 1936, but Kerr brings a time and place alive. ( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip Kerrprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bernardini, PatriziaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Berlin, 1936,

First Man: Have you noticed how the March Violets have managed to completely overtake Party veterans like you and me?,

Second Man: You're right. Perhaps if Hitler had also waited a little before climbing on to the Nazi bandwagon he'd have become Führer quicker too.

          Schwarze Korps, November 1935
For my mother
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Stranger things happen in the dark dreams of the Great Persuader...
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142004146, Paperback)

Hailed by Salman Rushdie as a “brilliantly innovative thriller-writer,” Philip Kerr is the creator of taut, gripping, noir-tinged mysteries that are nothing short of spellbinding. The first book of the Berlin Noir trilogy, March Violets introduces readers to Bernie Gunther, an ex-policeman who thought he’d seen everything on the streets of 1930s Berlin—until he turned freelance and each case he tackled sucked him further into the grisly excesses of Nazi subculture. Hard-hitting, fast-paced, and richly detailed, March Violets is noir writing at its blackest and best.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:41 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The brutality and corruption of Nazi Germany serve as the backdrop for this impressive debut mystery novel. Scottish-born Kerr re-creates the period accurately and with verve; the novel reeks of the sordid decade that saw Hitler's rise to power. Bernhard Gunther is a hard-boiled Berlin detective who specializes in tracking down missing persons--mostly Jews. He is summoned by a wealthy industrialist to find the murderer of his daughter and son-in-law, killed during the robbery of a priceless diamond necklace. Gunther quickly is catapulted into a major political scandal involving Hitler's two main henchmen, Goering and Himmler. The search for clues takes Gunther to morgues overflowing with Nazi victims; raucous nightclubs; the Olympic games where Jesse Owens tramples the theory of Aryan racial superiority; the boudoir of a famous actress; and finally to the Dachau concentration camp. Fights with Gestapo agents, shoot-outs with adulterers, run-ins with a variety of criminals, and dead bodies in unexpected places keep readers guessing to the very end. Narrator Gunther is a spirited guide through the chaos of 1930s Berlin and, more important, a detective cast in the classic mold. -- Publishers Weekly.… (more)

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Average: (3.63)
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2 14
2.5 5
3 62
3.5 32
4 100
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