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Publisher's Summary

Berlin, 1929. Detective Inspector Rath was a successful career officer in the Cologne Homicide Division before a shooting incident in which he inadvertently killed a man. He has been transferred to the vice squad in Berlin, a job he detests even though he finds a new friend in his boss, Chief Inspector Wolter.
There is seething unrest in the city, and the Commissioner of Police has ordered the vice squad to ruthlessly enforce the ban on May Day demonstrations. The result is catastrophic, with many dead and injured, and a state of emergency is declared in the Communist strongholds of the city.
When a car is hauled out of Berlin's Landwehr Canal with a mutilated corpse inside, the Commissioner decides to use this mystery to divert the attention of press and public from the casualties of the demonstrations. The biggest problem is that the corpse cannot be identified.
Volker Kutscher was born in 1962 in Lindlar, West Germany. He is the author of the enormously successful Gereon Rath crime series which, in addition to compelling narrative, is notable for its scrupulous accuracy about Germany in the years between its beginning in 1927 and the approach to the Second World War.
©2016 Volker Kutscher (P)2016 Audible, Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Brian English on 01-28-18

It's no Bernie Gunther Mystery ...

As a fan of Kerr's Bernie Gunther books, I was excited to read Kutscher series set in the waning days of the Weimar Republic. But what a disappointment.

Sadly, I think a lot of the problems stem from the fact that this book is translated. But I found the language clunky and and the story difficult to follow. There are a lot of characters, few with any real personality.

I fought my way through BABYLON BERLIN, and then even gave SILENT DEATH a shot because I so wanted to give the series a chance. But about four hours in to SILENT DEATH, I realized what the problem in both of these books really is: both books are almost utterly devoid of atmosphere. There's a smattering of history in BABYLON, but in DEATH there's very little to let you know that you are reading a book set in 1930s Germany; instead, it's just a boring police procedural.

I write this review mere days away from the Netflix premier of the BABYLON BERLIN TV series, which has been widely acclaimed. I have a feeling that this may be one of those rare cases when the TV show is actually better than the book.

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11 of 13 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By August Dolan-henderson on 07-21-18

Great story

loved it. Berlin, Crooked cops, Decadence, proto-Nazis. Noir. Schwarze. Negro. Liked the characters, plot, excema!

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Customer Reviews

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4 out of 5 stars
By Harrow on 01-03-18

Atmospheric, yet predictable, police procedural

I found this book to be very enjoyable but not genuinely gripping.

The atmosphere of 1920's Berlin comes through strongly which is just as well because the plot and characters are not particularly memorable.

The characters are the usual police procedural line up: lonely male with troubled past; senior officer showing him how to bend the rules; politically minded police chiefs; independent and very gorgeous young woman ; pseudo-sophisticated crime lord . . . I felt it was only the historical context which lifted the book. The Nazis, the communists and the ravers prowling the city were the most enjoyable parts of the book.

Narration is excellent and I will probably go on to explore the series.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Dan Rose on 04-02-17

A Thriller of the First Order

Inspector Rath is a career Homicide officer from Cologne who inadvertently kills a man because of the adverse publicity his father who is a Senior Police Officer gets his son a transfer to Berlin using connections. No one in Berlin except the commissioner knows about the incident in Cologne.

I found Babylon Berlin to be a thriller of the first order, an engaging listen, full of twists and turns.
Indeed the story starts with a man who has clearly been tortured. His battered and bruised lifeless body is found in a stolen car which has been dumped in the river. But who is this man? Where had be come from? and why has he met such a grizzly end? Inspector Rath investigates and he finds out a lot about his new colleagues and Berlin along the way.

The narrative and narration are both excellent. I would highly recommend it.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 05-28-18

Wonderful insight into Germany 1929 Fanatastic

I love this book. Great detective crime suspense drama based on accurate research into historical events of the time. Releastic plot incorporating the disparate polictical factions at a pivotal point in history - monarchists, communists, stalinists, trotskyites, nazis and that were democratic socialists holding onto the fragile democracy of the Weimar republic in 1929. Things might have been very different if the Wall Crash of 1929 hadn't occurred. Lots of twists and turns with the plot anything but predictable. Likeable but grey heros and hereoines with multiple unflinching and unstoppable antogonists. The ending comes as acomplete surprise.

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