Metropolis by Philip Kerr
Philip Kerr, who died last year aged 62, is best known for his serial character Bernie Gunther, a “sardonic cop and private investigator in Nazi Berlin”, said Adrian McKinty in The Guardian. In Metropolis, the 14th book in the series, Kerr rewinds the clock to 1928, presenting his hero as a promising young detective investigating the murders of four prostitutes. The backward time shift proves inspired: Gunther is the “perfect world-weary investigator” for Weimar Berlin’s “doomed demi-monde”. Wonderfully plotted and full of “witty dialogue”, this is a “bittersweet ending to a superb series”.
For 30 years, Kerr had great fun with this winning format, and the final volume proves no exception, said Andrew Taylor in The Spectator. Berlin is a city “bursting with creative energy” and “sexual experimentation”; Gunther enjoys a “spot of dalliance” with Fritz Lang’s wife, and ends up the star turn one night at the Sing Sing nightclub. Meanwhile, the Nazis are targeting Jews and the “communists are on the march”. Impeccably researched and wittily written, Metropolis is a “fitting swansong”.