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Babylon Berlin
Babylon Berlin © X Filme Creative Pool GmbH/ARD Degeto Film GmbH/Das Erste/Sky Deutschland/Beta Film GmbH, Foto: Frédéric Batier

The novels by Volker Kutscher

From "Der nasse Fisch" to "Lunapark"

A detective works against the backdrop of rising national socialism in the Berlin of the late 20s and early 30s. The Gereon-Rath novel series are both thrilling detective stories and fascinating genre pictures. In the Sündenbabel Berlin, Gereon Rath tries to deal with gangsters, political conspiracies, and his own demons. The novels by Volker Kutscher are regularly on the bestseller lists and are found compelling by readers and critics alike.

The books in the Gereon-Rath series

Babylon Berlin: August Benda (Matthias Brandt)
August Benda (Matthias Brandt) © Frédéric Batier / X Filme 2017

Seven volumes of the Gereon-Rath series have now been published. In the first volume, "Der nasse Fisch" was published in 2007. It is set in 1929, when detective Gereon Rath is transferred from Cologne to Berlin. In a time of social upheaval, Rath must work on a murder case - against himself.
The second volume "Der stumme Tod" (The silent Death) is set in the studio of a film production during the transition from silent films to talkies. In the third case, "Goldstein", Rath must shadow a Jewish gangster from Brooklyn and gets into gang warfare. In "Die Akte Vaterland" the clues lead him far into the east of Germany. In "Märzgefallene", events in the First World War are the trigger for a series of murders during national socialism.  In the volume, "Lunapark", Rath must figure out the death of an SA man and gets between all fronts.The last volume "Marlow" brings back Rath's old enemy Marlow, king of Berlin's underworld.
The novels recount thrilling detective stories and are also a fascinating painting of a period of political upheaval and show how the political changes are slowly engulfing people's lives.

The role models for the novels

Kutscher was inspired by the film "M - Die Stadt sucht einen Mörder" by Fritz Lang and by the American feature film "Road to Perdition", which is set in the American gangster milieu of the early 1930s.  The innovative television series "The Sopranos" also had a lasting effect on him. Kutscher is planning another two volumes. The series will end in 1938 with a last case for Gereon Rath, who will then become a private investigator.
The novels by Volker Kutscher have now been translated into English, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, and many other languages. Arne Jysch redesigned the first volume "Der nasse Fisch" as a comic. The prehistory of Charlotte has been published as a novella, "Moabit".