The author’s singular gifts for conveying the verbal, physical and moral textures of this vanished world are undiminished in Metropolis. The book offers similes worthy of Raymond Chandler. The cosmic ambivalence evoked by Philip Kerr can best be summed up in Gunther’s musing: 'Really there was just light and darkness and some life in between, and you made of it what you could.'
Metropolis is Kerr’s and Bernie’s swan song—a brilliant Berlin opera of Gothhe proportion with an intricate and riveting plot. And just like Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, Philip Kerr’s Metropolis is a masterpiece.
... Kerr displays again his special talent for reflecting individual depravities against the broad canvas of a society collapsing upon itself. It’s fascinating to see a younger Bernie here, with the makings of the melancholic wiseass and world-class cynic he will soon become, but still just a tad vulnerable (and still learning to hold his liquor). The Bernie Gunther series is one of the great triumphs of modern noir, and it will be sorely missed.
Kerr treats his readers to a stark, unflinching look at life in Germany for many citizens still reeling from the effects of the prior war, crushing poverty and growing anti-Semitic bigotry in the years prior to Hitler’s ascension. His writing is crisp, highly detailed and beautifully rendered, immersing the reader as much in the adventure as Gunther immerses himself in his disguise. Metropolis is an unforgettable tribute to both Kerr’s greatest detective and to the remarkable storyteller Kerr was.
Metropolis is an excellent introduction for newcomers and a fitting coda for longtime fans ... Kerr’s powerful series seems more vital than ever, with anti-Semitism, authoritarianism and white nationalism all on the rise. With a final bow from his flawed if improbably endearing hero, Kerr again reminds us: Never forget.
Provides a fitting end to Kerr’s storied career which, in many ways, has now come full circle. Obviously, Bernie’s bosses were right in that he would one day go on to become a brilliant detective, but readers know that going into this one, having already followed him for thirteen previous cases. This one’s special, though, and while readers will certainly recognize Bernie’s wise-cracking voice and trademark banter, Kerr still managed to bring an innocent-like element to him not previously seen on the page until now ... In addition to the character development, Kerr’s writing is beautiful, and as always, he nailed the setting, which is brought to life with vivid descriptions throughout. There’s also a number of real-life historical characters weaved in, one of which explains the book’s title, and plenty of intrigue throughout. It’s incredibly sad that this is the end of the line for Bernie Gunther, but there’s no question—Kerr saved some of his best work for last ... shows once again why Philip Kerr was one of the most talented novelists of his generation, and his final novel is one his fans won’t soon forget.
Metropolis is a consummately told tale with lashings of vice and horror that works either as a gripping stand-alone in the Chandler mode or as the keystone of a 14-book arch with a deeper, more troubling flavor, and it’s a perfect goodbye — and first hello — to its hero. In Metropolis, Bernie Gunther has, at last, come home.
Gunther is the perfect world-weary investigator for the glittering, doomed demi-monde of Weimar Berlin ... Wonderfully plotted, with elegant prose, witty dialogue, homages to German Expressionism and a strong emotional charge, this is a bittersweet ending to a superb series.
A book to read and relish — not so much for its plot, which holds few surprises, as for its setting and for Bernie’s wry take on its inhabitants ... The depth of Kerr’s research is impressive. So is his prose, which sometimes has an almost Wodehousian flavour, albeit a Wodehouse in the grip of a severe bilious attack. Berlin itself is the real protagonist. a fitting swan song for this intelligent and always thought-provoking series. At its heart is a melancholy irony. Chaotic and dangerous though the Weimar capital is, we readers know, as Bernie doesn’t, that far worse is in store for Berlin.
Kerr’s evocation of Berlin’s interwar decadence is as sure-footed as ever. The rise of the anti-Semitism that will lead to the death of millions is never sententiously handled but refracted through Gunther’s dogged efforts to make sense of a surreal reality. And despite the increasingly threatening atmosphere, the detective’s unsparing wit is one of the key pleasures of the book ... Metropolis is every bit as vivid and pungent as anything Kerr ever wrote, but we read knowing that it will be our last moment in the company of Bernie Gunther — unless we start reading the books again from March Violets onwards. And that’s not a bad idea.
With its lessons for the Trump era, this book is plenty timely. But completed shortly before the author's death, it is also one of Kerr's most congenial, beautifully controlled, and entertaining works. The banter is priceless ... Going against the grain—as usual—by writing an origin novel as his swan song, Kerr leaves his fans happy.
Gripping ... This police procedural may lack the complex plotting of the best Gunther books, but Kerr (1956–2018) does a fine job of immersing the reader in the seamy side of Weimar Germany as Bernie crosses paths with such real-life folks as artist George Grosz and scriptwriter Thea von Harbou, the wife of filmmaker Fritz Lang. Fans will be sorry to see the last of the honest, wisecracking Bernie.