‘Prussian Blue’ is the 12th Bernie Gunther novel by Philip Kerr. Prussian Blue is also a paint pigment and the only known cure for Thallium poisoning.
It is 1956 and Bernie is still on the French Riviera when he is approached by the deputy head of the Stasi Erich Mielke. He wants Bernie to travel to London to poison an ex-Stasi agent with Thallium and won’t accept no for an answer. Bernie agrees but to ensure compliance, Mielke assigns an old colleague of Bernie’s Freidrich Korsch as Bernie’s handler.
Bernie manages to get away from Korsch but is chased through France by the Stasi as he slowly makes his way to Germany. Once again Bernie is forced into taking action that he would rather not take.
The last time Bernie worked with Korsch was in 1939. An engineer was murdered at Hitler’s retreat in the Bavarian Alps. Hitler’s secretary Martin Boorman wants the killer caught so that Hitler can spend his 50th birthday in the retreat in a week’s time. Heydrich sends Bernie firstly as a good detective, but also to dig up dirt on Boorman that can be used against him. With the criminality and corruption on Hitler’s mountain, Bernie has an almost impossible task.
The two stories are told in parallel, but in the end they merge. In Bernie’s view there really aren’t too many differences between the Nazis and the Stasi and Bernie seems to be fighting the same fight all over again.
This novel contained two excellent stories. I think this is the best in the series so far. And the history was amazing – I found myself going online for extra details a few times.
Bernie Gunther is a brilliant character. I love this series and I’m looking forward to the next novel – ‘Greeks Bearing Gifts’.
Book Published 2017