If the Dead Rise Not

2009 ~ Bernie Gunther Book 6

Berlin, 1934. The Nazis have secured the 1936 Olympiad for the city but are facing foreign resistance. Hitler and Avery Brundage, the head of the U.S. Olympic Committee, have connived to soft-pedal Nazi anti-Semitism and persuade America to participate despite a movement to boycott the games—with Brundage gaining government contracts worth millions in return. For Bernie Gunther, now the house detective at the world-famous Adlon Hotel, none of this matters much until a series of seemingly unconnected events propels him into this world of international corruption and dangerous double-dealing, where he is caught between warring factions of the Nazi apparatus.

Havana, 1954. Batista, aided by the CIA, has just seized power; Castro is in prison; and the American Mafia is quickly gaining a stranglehold on Cuba's exploding gaming and prostitution industries. Bernie, who was unceremoniously kicked out of Buenos Aires, has resurfaced in the flamboyant and corrupt city of Havana with a new life, ostensibly one of routine and relative peace. But he discovers that he truly cannot outrun the burden of his past: he soon collides with a vicious killer from his Berlin days, who is mysteriously murdered not long afterward—and with an old lover, who may be the murderer.

Critical Praise

"The greatest strengths of IF THE DEAD RISE NOT are Kerr's portrait of a chilly ominous Berlin—and Bernie Gunther himself, whose way with a cynical one-liner never palls." ~ The Washington Post

"The novel builds into a strong thriller, firmly based in its times and places and offering some blunt reflections on personal and public corruption." ~ The Spectator

"The pace is cracking, the dialogue crisply Chandleresque, the mise-en-scene and characterization refreshingly stereotype-free. Kerr's research, historical and geographical, is all but faultless... Bernie Gunther is an iconic creation, and each new book a treat to look forward to." ~ The Times of London

"A sophisticated thriller that brings the war and its aftermath to life" ~ The Independent

"Whether this novel is the reader's first taste of Bernie Gunther or another course in the series, IF THE DEAD RISE NOT is a richly satisfying mystery, one that evokes the noir sensibilities of Raymond Chandler and Ross Macdonald while breaking important new ground of its own." ~ Los Angeles Times

"As always in a Bernie Gunther title, the plotting is twisty, the writing crisp, the atmosphere indisputably noir. Fans of hard-boiled P.I. novels and all readers interested in the dirty history of Nazi Germany will love this book. They don't come any better." ~ Library Journal

Honors and Awards



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