Friday, February 26, 2010

March Violets

I finished reading March Violets by Philip Kerr. I bought the book after hearing the author on the NPR Books podcast.

March Violets is essentially a detective novel, but with an unusual twist; it is set in Nazi Germany in 1936. It provides a fictional look into day to day life in pre-war Berlin and Nazi Germany at a key point in history. Plot elements include Goering, the Gestapo, the 1936 Olympics, Jesse Owens, the treatment of the Jews and the German death camps.

My major complaint about the book is the almost unbelievable amount of things that happen to the main character, Bernie Gunther (an ex-policeman turned private detective), in the last 40 pages of the book. The closing of book is definitely Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. While the plot twists do not seem as outlandish as The Lost Symbol, they came at you in a dizzying rush.

In spite of this criticism, I enjoyed it enough that I bought the second book of the trilogy after I finished the first book. I would give the book a solid B grade and recommend it as a nice interlude between more serious books.

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