Summer, 1928. Berlin, a city where nothing is verboten.
In the night streets, political gangs wander, looking for fights. Daylight reveals a beleaguered populace barely recovering from the postwar inflation, often jobless, reeling from the reparations imposed by the victors. At central police HQ, the Murder Commission has its hands full. A killer is on the loose and though he scatters many clues, each is a dead end. It's almost as if he is taunting the cops. Meanwhile, the press is having a field day.
This is what Bernie Gunther finds on his first day with the Murder Commisson. He's been taken on because the people at the top have noticed him — they think he has the makings of a first-rate detective. But not just yet. Right now, he has to listen and learn. (From G.P. Putnam's Sons)
From the book
Five days after the federal general election, Bernhard Weiss, Berlin's chief of the Criminal Police, summoned me to a meeting in his sixth-floor office at the Alex. Wreathed in the smoke from one of his favourite Black Wisdom cigars and seated at the conference table alongside Ernst Gennat, one of his best homicide detectives, he invited me to sit down. Weiss was 48 years old and a Berliner, small, slim and dapper, academic even, with round glasses and a neat, well-trimmed mustache. He was also a lawyer and a Jew, which made him unpopular with many of our colleagues, and he'd overcome a great deal of prejudice to get where he was: in peacetime, Jews had been forbidden to become officers in the Prussian Army; but when war broke out, Weiss applied to join the Royal Bavarian Army, where he quickly rose to the rank of captain and won an Iron Cross. After the war, at the request of the Ministry of the Interior, he'd reformed the Berlin police and made it one of the most modern forces in Europe. Still, it had to be said, he made an unlikely-looking policeman; he always reminded me a little of Toulouse-Lautrec.
There was a file open in front of him and from the look of it, the subject was me.
From Metropolis by Philip Kerr ©2019. Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons.