A Man Without Breath

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A Man Without Breath

by Philip Kerr

Putnam | April 16, 2013 | Hardcover

A Man Without Breath is rated 4 out of 5 by 2.
From the national bestselling author of Prague Fatale, a powerful new thriller that returns Bernie Gunther, our sardonic Berlin cop, to the Eastern Front.
 
Berlin, March, 1943. A month has passed since the stunning defeat at Stalingrad. Though Hitler insists Germany is winning the war, commanders on the ground know better. Morale is low, discipline at risk. Now word has reached Berlin of a Red massacre of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest near Smolensk. If true, the message it would send to the troops is clear: Fight on or risk certain death. For once, both the Wehrmacht and Propaganda Minister Goebbels want the same thing: irrefutable evidence of this Russian atrocity. To the Wehrmacht, such proof will soften the reality of its own war crimes in the eyes of the victors. For Goebbels, such proof could turn the tide of war by destroying the Alliance, cutting Russia off from its western supply lines.

Both parties agree that the ensuing investigation must be overseen by a professional trained in sifting evidence and interrogating witnesses. Anything that smells of incompetence or tampering will defeat their purposes. And so Bernie Gunther is dispatched to Smolensk, where truth is as much a victim of war as those poor dead Polish officers.
 
Smolensk, March, 1943. Army Group Center is an enclave of Prussian aristocrats who have owned the Wehrmacht almost as long as they’ve owned their baronial estates, an officer class whose families have been intermarrying for generations. The wisecracking, rough-edged Gunther is not a good fit. He is, after all, a Berlin bull. But he has a far bigger concern than sharp elbows and supercilious stares, for somewhere in this mix is a cunning and savage killer who has left a trail of bloody victims.

This is no psycho case. This is a man with motive enough to kill and skills enough to leave no trace of himself. Bad luck that in this war zone, such skills are two-a-penny. Somehow Bernie must put a face to this killer before he puts an end to Bernie.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 448 pages, 9.25 × 6.35 × 1.5 in

Published: April 16, 2013

Publisher: Putnam

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0399160795

ISBN - 13: 9780399160790

Found in: Suspense

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from 3 stars This is a very chilling novel.  The author immerses you fully in the world surrounding WWII with this hard hitting story.  This novel is well written and put together with a very solid storyline, or should I say intertwining storylines.  They weave together in an intricate, formulaic manner that becomes somewhat predictable while remaining interesting.  I really appreciated how solidly Kerr stayed within the time period in question.  He uses real history to develop his work of fiction.  I personally found the author’s writing to be quite heavy, making it difficult to really get into the story.   The characters in this novel were quite well put together.  They were well developed yet remained aloof, as would befit both their station and the time period.  Unfortunately, I found that although this lead to extra credence in the story it also added to its unapproachability at times.   This was definitely an intriguing read, if rather dense at times.  It would be a great read for those who enjoy mystery and traveling back to the WWII era.
Date published: 2014-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Book 9, in the Bernard Gunther Mystery It can get enough of this author’s wonderful imagination. His novels although in good part fiction have a chilling authenticity to them. Each story is based on actual events that happened during the horrible years of the Nazi Germany. Through his words he brings back to life the monsters who committed evil acts against humanity. The year is 1943, Bernie working for the German War Crimes Bureau is sent to Smolensk to bring light on the unsettling reports of a mass grave found in Katyn Forest, a wolf has unearth human remains validating the claim. Finding the truth is not always what the “High Muck-a- Mucks” want to hear….and Bernie will soon be caught in very difficult situations and scarcely escaping the noose……(Short and sweet summary to pique your interest, a most captivating read) With skills this novel set the scene of the Russian massacre of Polish officers and resuscitates German leaders to make a very grimly and realistic plot. This layered historical novel and murder mystery starts as dramatically as it ends and offers startling revelations about the life under the Third Reich. This is an engrossing story that examines the brutality at its most horrific and smoothly portrays the despicable inner circle of a regime. It further explores what Mr. Kerr’s expertly excels in: portraying the complex moral dilemmas of an immoral society and this from Bernie’s point of views. This installment is a page turner and a great addition to a very interesting series.
Date published: 2013-10-01

– More About This Product –

A Man Without Breath

by Philip Kerr

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 448 pages, 9.25 × 6.35 × 1.5 in

Published: April 16, 2013

Publisher: Putnam

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0399160795

ISBN - 13: 9780399160790

About the Book

From the national bestselling author of "Prague Fatale," a powerful new thriller that brings back Bernie Gunther, the sardonic Berlin cop, to the Eastern Front. It is 1943. The Russians are heading west. While Party loyalists hew to Hitler's insistence that Germany is winning, commanders on the ground know better.

From the Publisher

From the national bestselling author of Prague Fatale, a powerful new thriller that returns Bernie Gunther, our sardonic Berlin cop, to the Eastern Front.
 
Berlin, March, 1943. A month has passed since the stunning defeat at Stalingrad. Though Hitler insists Germany is winning the war, commanders on the ground know better. Morale is low, discipline at risk. Now word has reached Berlin of a Red massacre of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest near Smolensk. If true, the message it would send to the troops is clear: Fight on or risk certain death. For once, both the Wehrmacht and Propaganda Minister Goebbels want the same thing: irrefutable evidence of this Russian atrocity. To the Wehrmacht, such proof will soften the reality of its own war crimes in the eyes of the victors. For Goebbels, such proof could turn the tide of war by destroying the Alliance, cutting Russia off from its western supply lines.

Both parties agree that the ensuing investigation must be overseen by a professional trained in sifting evidence and interrogating witnesses. Anything that smells of incompetence or tampering will defeat their purposes. And so Bernie Gunther is dispatched to Smolensk, where truth is as much a victim of war as those poor dead Polish officers.
 
Smolensk, March, 1943. Army Group Center is an enclave of Prussian aristocrats who have owned the Wehrmacht almost as long as they’ve owned their baronial estates, an officer class whose families have been intermarrying for generations. The wisecracking, rough-edged Gunther is not a good fit. He is, after all, a Berlin bull. But he has a far bigger concern than sharp elbows and supercilious stares, for somewhere in this mix is a cunning and savage killer who has left a trail of bloody victims.

This is no psycho case. This is a man with motive enough to kill and skills enough to leave no trace of himself. Bad luck that in this war zone, such skills are two-a-penny. Somehow Bernie must put a face to this killer before he puts an end to Bernie.

About the Author

PHILIP KERR is the author of eight previous Bernie Gunther novels. Bestselling Field Gray was nominated for the 2012 Edgar Award for Best Novel. Kerr is also the much-loved author of the fantasy series Children of the Lamp. He lives in London.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for A Man Without Breath   “This is the most intelligent brand of crime fiction, and there is moral complexity here in spades.”— The Daily Beast   “ A Man Without Breath is a masterful accomplishment that delivers a gripping mystery wrapped around meticulously researched history…It brings the deadly past to life.”— The Arizona Republic   “Kerr just keeps raising the ante with this series. And this is the best book yet.”— Dayton Daily News   “One of these days World War II will come to an end, and then how will we manage without Bernie Gunther, the cynical Berlin cop who has somehow contrived to stay alive and retain some vestige of personal integrity in Philip Kerr’s harrowing historical thrillers?”— The New York Times Book Review   “This ninth Bernie Gunther tale (after Prague Fatale ) focuses on two months of 1943, mixing real-life characters with fictional ones. Kerr’s historical knowledge and writing skills merge these elements seamlessly in a gripping story of murder, but it is Bernie who holds it all together even as he questions the absurdity of attempting normalcy during war. Mystery, historical fiction, and military history buffs will join existing Bernie fans in welcoming this latest installment in the series.”— Library Journal   “Captivating . . . Kerr makes everything look easy, from blending history with a clever a
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