RARA-AVIS: Re: hardboiled war novels

From: kerkhoc ( Claus_Kerkhoff@web.de)
Date: 06 Sep 2004

I highly recommend "Black out" by the British filmmaker John Lawton, Phillip Kerr's excellent WWII trilogy (collected as Berlin Noir), and the St-Cyr / Kohler novels by J. Robert Janes.

"Black out" is the first book in the Troy series where Frederick Troy, a young police officer and great character, tries to find out why scientists working on a secret project are disappearing and dying. Their fate has something to do with one of the nastier villains in recent fiction, a rogue American OSS agent, but it isn't until the war is over that Troy discovers the truth in ruined Berlin.

The Berlin PI Bernie Gunther is the famous character in Phillip Kerr's trilogy "Berlin Noir". In the first novel "March Violets"
(1936), the ex-policeman Bernie Gunther has been hired to look into two murders that reach high into the Nazi Party. In "The Pale Criminal", it's 1938, and Gunther has to rejoin the police because of Heydrich´s order. And in "A German Requiem", PI Bernie Gunther has his third appearance in the wreckage of postwar Berlin. The Berlin Noir trilogy contains a lot of Chandleresque prose, and these three mysteries are exciting and insightful looks at life inside Nazi Germany - with Gunther´s walk at a fine line between the SS, the Gestapo and his clients.

Detectives Jean-Louis St-Cyr of the French Surete and Hermann Kohler, a Gestapo agent, are an unlikely team of detectives in Occupied France, developed by the Canadian author J. Robert Janes. The novels are excellent, and "Sandman" was chosen by the New York Times as one of the best mysteries of 1997.

Best regards Claus

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