Here’s what’s new in bookstores this week:
▪ “Prussian Blue,” by Philip Kerr, (Putnam, $27). This is the 12th thriller featuring Bernie Gunther, a German detective trying to do good work during the Nazi and post-WWII eras. Here, we get stories from two time periods. In 1939, Bernie has one week to solve the killing of an official at Hitler’s Obersalzberg hideaway. Also, in 1956, East German secret police pressure our hero to poison a woman agent who is an old flame.
▪ “Tell Me How This Ends Well,” by David Samuel Levinson, (Hogarth, $27). First, the big picture: In 2022, Jewish refugees flood into America after Israel is overrun by its Middle East enemies. As a result, anti-Semitism is on the rise in the States. Now the small picture: Three grown siblings hatch an ill-considered plot to kill their father. Surprisingly, given the bleak material, the cautionary tale is jam-packed with humor.
▪ “My Last Lament,” by James William Brown, (Berkley, $26). The main character is the last of her kind in a village in northeast Greece. Aliki is a professional lamenter, a composer of dirge-poems that are chanted at wakes for grieving families. When asked to talk about her fading art, Aliki tells her own story of survival and of starting over during WWII, when her father was executed and her village torched by Nazi soldiers.
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David Martindale, Special to the Star-Telegram