Publication Date: 2013
Publisher: A Marian Wood Book, G.P. Putnam's Sons
Genre: Fiction, Investigator
Rating: Very good
Spring 1943, Berlin, Germany
Bernie Gunther is an investigator for the Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau. He had been a Berlin police investigator.
He has a sarcastic, stubborn, bull-headed personality. He is a character that is difficult to not like, because he has this raw charm, not to mention the ability to solve crimes with a strong gut instinct.
In A Man Without Breath, Gunther investigates an incident of dead bodies found buried in a forest. The remains are those of Polish officers.
This is the first story I've read in the Bernie Gunther books. I've heard about the books but until now had not read any of them.
What I loved most about the book is the character of Bernie Gunther. At times, he reminded me a bit of Humphrey Bogart's character, Sam Spade, in the film The Maltese Falcon. Gunther shows wit with a bite, and sarcasm with charm. These are also Sam Spade's traits. In addition, both characters show an "ah shucks" persona. They minimize situations with their wit.
Gunther works to solve the murder case, but is deterred, detained, and apprehended by the Nazi government. Gunther has to juggle the case and not stir up trouble with the Nazi's, which is something he seems to fall into easy.
Even Gunther is taken back, when he witnesses a hanging, or other murderous atrocities from the Nazi's.
Through Gunther's eyes I was shown a German man who is not in the military. He gave me a view of life in Germany while the war is in process.
I'm anxious to read another book in this series.