The Newest Noir

There’s a new detective novel practically every day, but here’s one with historical weight: the Berlin Noir trilogy by Philip Kerr, which applies noir techniques to Hitler’s Germany. The series follows Bernie Gunther, a P.I. fresh out of the Berlin police force. In its new installment – and the series’ crown jewel—A Quiet Flame, Gunther finds himself on the way to Argentina, falsely pegged as a war criminal. Although Bernie has aged considerably, he resorts quickly to his old ways, investigating a disappearance and the particularly cruel Argentinean fascists. According to The Los Angeles Times, "Kerr doesn't drown in the crud of mass evil and never forgets he has a smaller, more accessible story to tell."