Over the course of seven previous novels, we have got to know Kerr's Berlin policeman Bernie Gunther rather well. Here we revisit the investigator's chequered wartime past.
In 1941, fresh from the horrors of the Eastern Front, Gunther returns to his old desk on Homicide. But rather than work on ordinary murders, he's summoned by the Reichsprotector Heydrich to spend a weekend at his Prague castle.
The visit kicks off with the discovery of the body of a young flunky in a locked bedroom. The Teutonic gloom lifts with the arrival of Fraulein Tauber, Gunther's shapely new squeeze.