Prague Fatale

2011 ~ Bernie Gunther Book 8

September 1941: Bernie Gunther returns from the horrors of the Eastern Front to find his home city of Berlin changed, and changed for the worse. The blackout, rationing, the RAF, the S-Bahn murderer and Czech terrorists are all conspiring to make life very unpleasant. Now back at his old desk on Homicide in Kripo HQ, Alexanderplatz, Bernie starts to investigate the death of a Dutch railway worker, while starting something—of an entirely different nature—with a local good-time girl.

But he is obliged to drop everything when his old boss, Reinhard Heydrich of the SD, the new Reichsprotector of Bohemia and Moravia, orders him to Prague to spend a weekend at his country house. It's an invitation Bernie feels he would gladly have been spared, especially when he meets his fellow guests—all of them senior loathsome figures in the SS and SD.

The weekend turns sour almost immediately, when a body is found in a room that was locked from the inside. The spotlight falls on Bernie to show off his investigative skills and solve this seemingly impossible mystery. And if he fails to do so, he knows what is at stake—not only his reputation, but also that of Heydrich, a man who does not like to lose face.

So begins the most diplomatically sensitive case of Bernie Gunther's police career.

Philip Kerr on PRAGUE FATALE: "I am afraid I cannot discuss the plot of this book except to say that it is no longer called THE MAN WITH THE IRON HEART. It turned out that there was another book with that title. My book, half of which is set in Prague, is now called Prague Fatale. It's set in October 1941. Think the Golem of Prague with Nazis." ~ Kirkus Reviews

The Economist asks Philip Kerr: "PRAGUE FATALE is set in the early 1940s—why are you taking a step back in time from some of your previous novels?"

Philip Kerr: "I want to keep the books fresh but I have always been interested in Heydrich and his assassination. What I was really interested in was the six months leading up to it. I went to Prague and let history lead me by the hand. I found out where Heydrich's country house is; it is a semi-ruin and closed to the public. When I saw it I knew this was the story I wanted to write."

Honors and Awards

Named one of ten best crime novels of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews
Shortlisted for Bloody Scotland's Scottish Crime Book of the Year


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