The Wet Fish
Der nasse Fisch

volker kutscher der nasse fisch
Kiepenheuer & Witsch
July 2007 / 496pp

The Goethe-Institut supported the English translation of this book.

Get information on the English version here (UK).


Location, Berlin. Time, spring 1929, when the celebrated ‘Bloody May’ day of Communist rioting and other upheavals briefly threatened the security of the state. Principal character, Gereon Rath, disillusioned loner from the Cologne police force transferred to the Berlin vice squad after despatching a psychopathic killer in self-defence. His new job begins with the discovery of a man’s body in a car in the river Spree. The victim, a Russian, had obviously not drowned but been murdered (and tortured) first. And before Rath knows where he is, he is uncovering a plot to smuggle eighty million Marks from Communist Russia to Berlin. Villains galore. Fascinating, seldom explored background. You think you know Berlin? Think again. A good tough read and a mesmerising setting.

about the author

Volker Kutscher, born in 1962, studied German, Philosophy and History and started a career as an editor for a daily newspaper before he wrote his first thriller. Currently he is a full-time writer and lives in Cologne. Previous works include: Bullenmord (1996) and Vater unser (1998), both written with Christian Schnalke; Der schwarze Jakobiner (2001) – all Emons Verlag

rights information

Rights to Der nasse Fisch sold to:
Italy (Arnoldo Mondadori Editore)

Translation rights available from:
Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch
Tel: +49 221 376 85 22
Contact: Iris M. Brandt

Kiepenheuer & Witsch was founded in 1949 in Cologne by two publishers from the Eastern Zone, Gustav Kiepenheuer and Joseph Caspar Witsch. The press’s early authors included Joseph Roth, Heinrich Böll and Erich Maria Remarque. Today Kiepenheuer & Witsch continues to publish leading contemporary German, Austrian and Swiss writers, as well as international authors in translation. Its authors include Peter Härtling, Uwe Timm, Gabriel García Márquez and John Banville. The non-fiction list covers sociology, psychology, history and biography. Kiepenheuer & Witsch is part of the Holtzbrinck Group.

translation assistance

The Goethe-Institut supported the English translation of this book.

Get information on the English version here (UK).

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All recommendations from Autumn 2007