• Title: A Man Without Breath
  • Author: Philip Kerr
  • ISBN: 9780399160790
  • Page: 377
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A Man Without Breath Berlin March 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
    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 orBerlin, 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.

    One Reply to “A Man Without Breath”

    1. A great fix for my addiction to this noir detective series featuring Bernie Gunther trying to forge some justice within Nazi Germany during the war. In my mind, noir fiction typically involves a cynical hero up against pervasive corruption that almost has a life of its own, almost to the point of evil become a force like in literature with magical realism. The detective is like a doctor who prescribes a healthier dose of reality, bringing evil down to a more human scale of simple greed and corru [...]

    2. 4 <<χωρίς ανάσα>> αστεράκια για τον αγαπημένο Μπέρνι Γκούντερ. Υπόσχομαι αυτή τη φορά να μη σας κουράσω αναλύοντας με τις ώρες γιατί αγαπώ τον Philip Kerr και τα βιβλία του και θα μαι πιο συνοπτική σε αυτό που θέλω να σας πω (ενταξει ναι στην πραγματικότητα έχω φάει τόσα μελομ [...]

    3. Ακόμα μια 'χορταστική' ιστορία του Μπέρνι Γκούντερ. Αυτή τη φορά η δράση μεταφέρεται στη Ρωσία, στο περιβόητο δάσος του Κατίν, όπου κατά τη διάρκεια του Β' Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου διαπράχθηκε ένα (ακόμα) φρικιαστικό έγκλημα κατά της ανθρωπότητας: περίπου 4.000 Πολωνοί εκτελέστηκαν [...]

    4. Let Me Edit This Book!I saw the latest Philip Kerr offering in a bookshop and bought it straightaway. His Bernie Gunther series is very good indeed, particularly the first three novels released as “Berlin Noir” and he has resurrected the series, set in and around the period of World War 2 Germany. However, the later novels have had ups-and-downs, as Kerr squeezes the sponge dry, and this latest book is particularly uneven, following the ropey Prague Fatale and the outstanding Field Grey.It s [...]

    5. I’m a great fan of the Bernie Gunther series. I’ve read all nine books, buying the last few in the first weeks of release. A Man Without Breath is a solid enough addition to Bernie’s story, though it is by no means Kerr’s best work. Kerr writes with a very strong and engaging hardboiled voice. His characters are vivid, the historical and social contextualisation and sense of place are excellent. And so it is with A Man Without Breath. There are three issues with the story, however, that [...]

    6. Like I've said before, these are a guilty pleasure of the highest quality, so managing to get my hands on an advance reading copy is kind of the equivalent of Bernie Gunther getting some good smokes or booze while stationed near the russian front during WWII. If you like detective fiction and WWII, it gets no better than the Bernie Gunther novels.

    7. Κλασικά πράματα,κλασικός Kerr.Μέσα από τα βιβλία του δεν διαβάζουμε απλά την ιστορία του Β Παγκόσμιου πολέμου.Τη ζούμε από πρώτο χέρι.Αυτά.

    8. In this, the ninth instalment of the highly addictive and engrossing Bernie Gunther series, it is 1943 and a month after the Wehrmacht’s surrender at Stalingrad. At the behest of an old friend Bernie is working in the Wehrmacht’s War Crimes Bureau. Unsurprisingly the bureau has nothing to do with crimes against civilians or POWs. Word has reached Berlin of mass graves in the Smolensk region: Polish army officers bound, shot, and buried in the Katyn Forest. If the War Crimes Bureau can prove [...]

    9. Το πρώτο βιβλίο του Philip Kerr που διαβάζω και, αν στην αρχή ήμουν αρκετά αρνητική, τελικά το συνέχισα και το τέλειωσα. Το τέλειωσα γιατί ο Kerr με κέρδισε με τη γραφή του και την αστυνομική ιστορία που έπλασε στο μυαλό του βασισμένη, πάνω κάτω, σε πραγματικά ιστορικά γεγονότα. Η ισ [...]

    10. Bernie Gunther, former Berlin homicide cop, is now an investigator for the Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau. Bernie, with all the cynicism of a Berliner, is keenly aware of the absurdity of the agency's practice of turning a blind eye to the systematic torture and murder of Jews, Gypsies, communists, Slavs, homosexuals and other designated enemies, while preserving German honor by investigating and punishing one-off criminal acts.Bernie is sent to Smolensk, then precariously held by the Germans, when [...]

    11. If you think it's hard for a detective to find a killer today in a city like New York or Los Angeles, imagine what it would be like for an investigator in the German Army in the middle of World War II deep in Nazi occupied Russia. A large portion of the German Army has been crushed by Russian troops at Stalingrad. Tens of thousands are dying on both sides of the war as Bernie Gunther, ex-cop from Berlin, now working for the Army, is called in to investigate the mass murder of over 4,000 Polish o [...]

    12. Philip Kerr’s latest Bernie Gunther novel, A MAN WITHOUT BREATH is set in the Smolensk region of the Soviet Union in the spring of 1943. The ninth in the Gunther series the story involves the usual twists and turns of Kerr’s approach to the World War II noir, this time using the Soviet massacre of Polish officers in 1940 at the Katyn Forest as background. Kerr weaves in the NKVD, Abwehr, and German SD. Many of the characters are historical figures such as Joseph Goebbels and Admiral Wilhelm [...]

    13. Much to my regret, Philip Kerr is falling into the trap of formula writing. This is not surprising, seeing that a new Bernie book is whipped out every year. Nevertheless, I hate to see it, as I am not a big thriller reader, but always loved the Bernie books. While 'Field Grey' was still an excellent read, 'Prague Fatal' was quite unrealistic and over the top and lacked the usual Bernie wise-cracks. In essence, Bernie investigating the notorious Katyn Massacre in 'A Man without Breath' could have [...]

    14. March 1 - May 3, 1943. The German army on the Russian front has wintered in Smolensk having been pushed back by the Russian army. They are awaiting good weather and springtime to bring the Russians back down on them, and pushing them back even more by sheer force of numbers. Human remains have been dug up by a wolf in the Katyn Forest, which is teeming with wolves. The body is wearing the tattered uniform of the Polish army which had been on the Russian front in 1940. A long trench containing th [...]

    15. It takes some time to get used to Kerr's style. The abundance of similes and the wisecrack can be tiring at times. On the other hand, the setting is fairly unique and captivating. I consider 'A man without breath' to be one of his better works.

    16. I'm so nuts about Kerr's Bernie Gunther series that I generally order them as soon as they're published in the UK (where they're often available months before they're sold in the US)and though I thoroughly enjoyed this 9th book in the series, I thought its seams were showing a bit too much.Gunther is a Berlin detective who--during the course of WWII--reluctantly becomes an officer in the SD (and later the SS)without ever having joined the Nazi party. Gunther despises the regime, but goes along w [...]

    17. A MAN WITHOUT BREATH. (2013). Philip Kerr. ****.This is the latest episode in the life of Bernie Gunther. This time, Bernie is now a member of the War Crimes Bureau and is on site at Smolensk, where thousands of bodies of Polish officers have been discovered in a mass grave in an area known as Katyn Wood. Based on a true event, the novel concerns itself with determining who it was who killed all of these Poles. The Nazis, of course, want to put the blame on the Soviets – a major propaganda fea [...]

    18. Hard to decide which is better - the history or the mystery. It's 1943 and things are not going well for the German army. Things in Russia are bad and looking to get worse when Bernie Gunther is sent to Smolensk to do a PR job for Joseph Goebbels. There are rumors of a Russian massacre of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest, and Goebbels thinks that it could offset the tales of Nazi war crimes if the Russians could be proven to have committed atrocities too. If the Allies cut off their support t [...]

    19. I've read all of Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther novels. I have always enjoyed their well thought out plots and historical context. I also enjoy the Gunther character's tough guy personna. Unfortunately, this book seems to be prematurely concluded. The first two thirds of the book is engaging, weaving the plot around the Katyn Wood massacre of Polish officers by the Soviet NKVD. However, Kerr suddenly diverges from the original story direction by throwing in a useless love affair, in the middle of [...]

    20. Bernie Gunther doesn't time-travel in A Man Without Breath. He spends the entire book trying to unearth the Katyn Wood massacre site, and walks in on several murders he needs to solve. In the process, Bernie almost takes his last breath.I am amazed at the geographic, historical, military and cultural detail of the author and novel - right down to the uniforms. But that's what makes the reader feel he or she is right there, helping solve the crime.

    21. Man, these 'Bernie Gunther' mysteries just never get old! In fact--as hard as it may be to believe--I think Kerr's writing, plotting, character development, and incorporation of historical events and personalities just gets better and better.This book largely takes place on the Eastern Front in 1943 near the German-occupied Russian city of Smolensk, and revolves around the "Katyn Wood Massacre". This is a gripping and horrific tale from start to finish!

    22. Σφαγή του Κατύν (Κατίν στο βιβλίο) ονομάζεται το έγκλημα των μαζικών εκτελέσεων χιλιάδων Πολωνών αξιωματικών, αστυνομικών, διανοούμενων, πολιτικών κρατουμένων και αιχμαλώτων πολέμου, που διαπράχθηκε από τη μυστική αστυνομία Λαϊκό Κομισαριάτο Εσωτερικών Υποθέσεων (γνωστ [...]

    23. Disappointing The plot is good. Historical canvas interesting (one of a few novels depicting nazi Germany "from the inside", so to speak).The characters, even though initially intriguing, soon turn into a poor imitation of a Dashiell Hammett novel, complete with doomed love story with the standard issue blondeThe lengthy sarcastic replies the main character delivers at every turn make you think you're in a (counterfeit) Bogey movie, or a James Bond. There is even the hero rescue at the last minu [...]

    24. The Katyn massacre, also known as the Katyn Forest massacre was a mass execution of Polish nationals carried out by the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD), the Soviet secret police, in April and May 1940. This is the real historical background where Bernie Gunther in his 9th book gets anchored in the real world.Bernie Gunther works in this book for the Warcrimes bureau, now there was a surprise to me as I never expected such an organisation in Nazi Germany in 1943.Gunther gets sen [...]

    25. A Man Without BreathBy Philip KerrWhat could be more noir than a detective series set in Europe during World War II? How about one set in Berlin with a German police detective during World War II? Anti-Nazi himself, Bernie Gunther is the hero of this series of nine books.His expertise is repeatedly sought out by Nazi higher-ups, and the unfortunate Bernie is faced again and again with finding a way to stay alive and still live with himself.In 1943, Gunther is working for the Wehrmacht, tasked wi [...]

    26. That’s me completely up-to-date on the Bernie Gunther novels, at least until a new one appears. In A Man Without Breath, Gunther has moved to the War Crimes Bureau, and is sent out to Smolensk because several buried bodies have been found in a nearby wood by German troops. The Germans suspect the bodies belong to Polish officers, killed by the Russians, who had allegedly shipped the Poles they had captured off to POW camps. The wood is Katyn Wood. When a pair of soldiers from a nearby signals [...]

    27. Even though I've got many complaints about this book, I still have an overall good impression of it. So what didn't I like? First of all, I had trouble keeping track of the enormous cast of characters. It didn't help that the audiobook narrator chose to read it rather than perform it so he did very little in terms of distinctive voices for each character. Toss in double handfuls of plot lines and events and it just becomes hard to stay on top of it all. The whole book is light on action, heavy o [...]

    28. It took me ages to read A Man Without Breath. That has nothing to do with the writing or the story, simply that I had too many other distractions in my life to allow me to read a book uninterrupted. Then suddenly an opportunity to clear it appeared and Philip Kerr was back on the radar again.No pretence this time at flashback. A Man Without Breath is set straight out in 1943, post-Stalingrad eastern Europe when most Germans are aware that losing the war, to the Russias in particular, is simply a [...]

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