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Gereon Rath Books In Order

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Publication Order of Gereon Rath Books

Babylon Berlin (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Silent Death (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Goldstein (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fatherland Files (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The March Fallen (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Gereon Rath series by Volker Kutscher

Volker Kutscher pens the “Gereon Rath” series of historical mystery novels. Besides its compelling narrative, it is notable for its scrupulous accuracy on Germany between its start in the year 1927 leading right up to the Second World War.

Gereon Rath was once a successful career officer inside the Cologne Homicide Division before getting involved with a shooting incident where he accidentally killed a guy. After this happened, he was transferred to Berlin’s vice squad. It is a job he detests even though he makes friends with his boss, Chief Inspector Wolter. No matter who he works with, he is able to aggravate any of his co-workers to no bound.

Each of Rath’s cases are meticulously researched history lessons. Throughout, the author confronts non-fictional and fictional characters with historic events, the whole time he never loses sight of the detective story he is telling.

The series has been adapted into an international television sensation that is called “Babylon Berlin” that started airing in 2017. It was created by Achim von Borries, Tom Tykwer, and Hank Handloegten. The show stars Liv Lisa Fries and Volker Bruch (who plays Inspector Gereon Rath).

The series began publication in America in the year 2016, when “Babylon Berlin” was translated into English and was released. Originally, the novel was published in the year 2007.

“Babylon Berlin” is the first novel in the “Gereon Rath” series, which was released in the year 2016. Berlin in the year 1929. There is unrest with the city, and the Commissioner of Police has ordered the vice squad to ruthlessly enforce the ban issued on all May Day demonstrations. The results are catastrophic with quite a few injured or dead, and there is a state of emergency declared in the Communist strongholds in the city.

A car is hauled out of Berlin’s Landwehr Canal with a mutilated corpse in it, the Commissioner decides to use the mystery to divert the public and press’ attention from the causalities from the demonstrations. The largest problem is that the cops cannot identify the corpse.

The atmosphere of the twenties is well evoked and the characters have been well drawn, are well rounded and are interesting. This is a fast paced and frantic read and is an intriguing police procedural that focuses quite a bit on politics. This is a masterpiece of a crime fiction novel that is going to even have history buffs loving the portrayal of twenties Berlin, as well as the use of historical figures, events, and places.

“The Silent Death” is the second novel in the “Gereon Rath” series, which was released in the year 2017. March of 1930. The film business is in the process of change. Talking films have already begun taking over the silver screen, and many a cinema owner, producer, and silent movie star have fallen by the wayside.

While filming a talkie, celebrated actress Betty Winter gets hit by a spotlight. It looks like an accident upon first glance, but Superintendent Gereon Rath finds some clues that point to it being a murder. His colleagues suspect the lighting tech, Rath’s investigations take him in another direction entirely and quickly winds up on his own.

Staying away from the superior that wants to take him off the case, Rath’s life gets complicated further after his father asks him to aid Cologne mayor Konrad Adenauer with some case of blackmail. Then there is Charly, an ex-girlfriend attempts to renew their relationship. All of this while tensions between Communists and Nazis escalate to violence.

For some readers, Rath has become their favorite Berlin based Inspector. The series shows the city of Berlin to be a vibrant place with a bunch of hustle and bustle, but with an intriguing and sordid nightlife. Some look forward to more volumes being translated into English and seeing where the series winds up going.

“Goldstein” is the third novel in the “Gereon Rath” series, which was released in the year 2018. Berlin in 1931. There is a power struggle going on in Berlin’s underworld. Abraham Goldstein, the American gangster, is in residence at the Hotel Excelsior. Doing a favor for the FBI, the cops put him under surveillance with Detective Gereon Rath on the job.

While Rath gets bored and takes a private case for Johann Marlow, his seedy buddy, he quickly finds himself caught up in a Berlin street war. At the same time, Charly, Rath’s on-off girlfriend, allows a young lady she is interrogating to escape. Her investigations soon cross Rath’s from the other side. Berlin is a city divided where two different worlds are close to colliding: the expanding world of Nazism as well as the American gangster.

The novel moves quicker than the two that come before it, and Kutscher does a superb job showing how political the police force gets. This one has a nail biter of a conclusion and the action just never stops for a moment. Some readers keep on coming back because of the vivid and exciting setting of Weimar Berlin during the rise of Nazism.

“The Fatherland Files” is the fourth novel in the “Gereon Rath” series, which was released in the year 2019. July of 1932. A drowned man is found inside a freight elevator in Haus Vaterland, the gigantic pleasure palace located on Potsdamer Platz. Inspector Gereon Rath is called on to investigate the matter. It is not that Rath doesn’t have problems of his own.

His search for a contract killer has been stalled for weeks now. Charlotte Ritter, his on again off again lover, has just started her probationary year with Berlin CID. The dead body in Haus Vaterland appears to be a part of a series of murders whose trail takes them east to the Polish border. And beyond.

The book never has a dull moment, there is some excellent layering of story lines, and these books have got readers hooked. This one is a bit more complex than the other books in the series, and all of them get better than the one that came before it.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Gereon Rath

One Response to “Gereon Rath”

  1. Ted Perle: 2 years ago

    When will the final five books of the Gereon Rath series be available in English? I’ve really enjoyed the first five historical whodunnits and am eager to read about the lives of Rath and his family during the prewar years of Nazi Germany.


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