Prague Fatale

Written by Philip Kerr
Review by Veronika Pelka

Prague Fatale continues Philip Kerr’s popular Bernie Gunther series. It is June of 1942, and the cynical homicide detective is nightly toying with the idea of committing suicide. He has recently returned from the “East” and is unable to reconcile his self-loathing after witnessing unspeakable atrocities. It is unclear to him why he has been liberated and sent back to Berlin but quickly involves himself in a local murder and a love affair.

Gunther, who works for Berlin’s Kriminalpolizei, has a reputation for being unconventional and is often dangerously open in his hostilities to his Nazi overlords and their policies. While initially summoned by the head of the SS to a country house in Prague to serve as his bodyguard, he is almost immediately placed in charge of the puzzling murder of a young Nazi officer. Gunther fears and loathes his boss, Reinhardt Heydrich, and for good reasons but like an old-fashioned German, Gunther does his job well. Being a decent man, he finds working with depravity and brutality difficult yet somehow, all is survivable. This compelling and thought-provoking retelling of historical events will not disappoint Kerr fans and will likely win him some new ones.