By Vikas Datta,
Is it a feasible idea to set a series of noirish detective novels in a totalitarian state like Nazi Germany which itself practised violence intensively against its own citizens, or even in the midst of the viciously bloody conflict that was World War II? It may appear paradoxical but even in midst of such blood-letting, there are crimes that such a regime should have solved as they have not been "sanctioned". And since a totalitarian state may not be a monolithic entity but an aggregation of competing interests, an independent investigator is needed. Step in Bernie Gunther, a worthy counterpart to Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe but with higher stakes - his American counterparts don't risk being sent to a concentration camp permanently.