Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Readying Gunther’s Swan Song

When popular British author Philip Kerr died this last March at age 62, after a battle with bladder cancer, it was announced that his UK publisher, Quercus, had possession of the completed first draft of a final novel starring Kerr’s series protagonist, onetime Berlin police detective Bernie Gunther. Now comes word, via The Real Book Spy, of what that novel—a prequel to be titled Metropolis—will offer:
A portrait of Bernie Gunther in his twenties: He’s young, but he’s seen four bloody years of trench warfare. And he’s not stupid. So when he receives a promotion and a ticket out of Vice squad, he knows he’s not really leaving behind the criminal gangs, the perverse sex clubs, and the laundry list of human corruption. It’s 1928 and Berlin is a city on the edge of chaos, where nothing is truly verboten. But soon a new wave of shockingly violent murders sweeps up society’s most vulnerable, prostitutes and wounded ex-soldiers begging on the streets.

As Bernie Gunther sets out to make sense of multiple murders with different MOs in a city that knows no limits, he must face the fact that his own police HQ is not immune. The Nazi party has begun to infiltrate the Alex, Berlin’s central office, just as the shakey Weimar government makes a last, desperate attempt to control a nation edging toward the Third Reich.

It seems like the only escape for most Berliners is the theater and Bernie’s no exception. As he gets deeper into the city’s sordid underground network, he seeks comfort with a make-up artist who is every bit a match for his quick wit and increasingly sardonic view of the world. But even this space can’t remain untouched, not with this pervasive feeling that everything is for sale in Berlin if you’re man enough to kill for it.
Metropolis is set for release in the States on April 9, 2019.

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