Johannes Groschupf

Berlin Preppers - Thriller

(German title: Berlin Prepper)
ca. 350 pages
Johannes Groschupf
Foto: Johannes Groschupf
© Mike Auerbach

Johannes Groschupf, born in Braunschweig in 1963, grew up in Lüneburg. After studying German Studies, American Studies and Journalism at the Free University of Berlin, he worked as an independent travel journalist for many years for publications such as DIE ZEIT, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Frankfurter Rundschau. In 1994, he survived a helicopter crash in the Sahara. Based on this experience, 1998 saw the creation of the radio feature Der Absturz (»The Crash«), which was awarded the Robert Geisendörfer Prize the following year. After that, he focused on literary works, first and foremost in the field of young adult literature, as well as articles for Der Tagesspiegel and Die Welt. For his thriller Berlin Preppers, he was awarded the German Crime Fiction Prize 2019.

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German Crime Fiction Prize 2019

#1 on the KrimiZEIT-Best of Crime List June 2019

The first German thriller about preppers (= people who make active preparations for catastrophic disasters)

At last: a contemporary thriller of high calibre set in Berlin


Suspense, action, and political perspectives


The first thriller by the successful YA-writer


As an online-editor for a large daily newspaper, Walter Noack is in charge of eliminating rude remarks and hate speech from various comment sections. He is confronted with the most odious insults a thousand times a day. His nerves become even more frayed after he and subsequently a colleague are beaten seemingly at random by strangers, and his private life is shaken by loss.

The police seem powerless. The daily poison of long-term hatred finally begins to seep into Noack’s soul as well. He gradually slides into the dark scene of weapon-hoarding preppers and Reich citizens, and finds himself both repelled and fascinated at the same time. During a brutal heat wave in Berlin that leads to fires, unrest, and open anarchy, he begins to realise that he has fallen in with the wrong people. Now it is a matter of life and death.


»An extremely well-written, exciting novel about the insanity flowing out of the internet and into society.« Susanne Gaschke, Die Welt

»Berlin Preppers is a Berlin novel, a contemporary novel, a crime novel: fast, hard, and good.« Sonja Hartl, Deutschlandfunk Kultur

»Though Groschupf’s novel may not be pleasant company, it is a perfect crime novel [...]« Welt am Sonntag

»An urban novel with a sound grasp of contemporary developments.« Peter Körte, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»A fast-paced and raw book nurtured by the subtle wit of its author, who creates an electric atmosphere with his sense for the seemingly peripheral.« Harry Nutt, Frankfurter Rundschau

»According to Jean-Patrick Manchette, the French pioneer of Noir, every good crime novel has to be political. Johannes Groschupf fulfills this requirement in a subtle way.« Marcus Müntefering, LiteraturSpiegel

»A book with fast-paced laconic dialogues à l’Elmore Leonard. A rhapsody of noir, atmospheric like James Ellroy, and deprived of any hope that Berlin has never seen before.« Alexander Kluy, Buchkultur Krimi

»Berlin Preppers is so fast-paced, it makes you sweat, brutally honest book and at the same time full of fierce wit, hard-hitting humour, moving and unforgettable. A concise, concentrated, and very powerful political thriller.« hammett-krimis.de

»A truly relevant read.« Magazin Köllefornia

»Groschupf tells the nightmarish story hard and direct, but at the same time with dry wit and a confident sense for situational humour. He never falls into the stereotype traps hiding everywhere in this subject matter. That way, this highly original thriller paints a realistic picture of the times we live in. And therefore a very disquieting one.« Crime Novel of the Week, Basler Zeitung

»In his first thriller Berlin Preppers the author […] writes about a guy […] who doesn’t want to leave anything to chance. More than that: He lets him tell his story. A literary feat that makes it possible to leave some distance to his protagonist and not have to explain everything on the one hand; on the other, this is precisely what makes the story and the characters seem very authentic, especially since the protagonist by no means appears like a loon who is tired of our civilization. Gropschupf accomplishes this balancing act in an impressive manner, readers can are hardly able to escape the appeal of the story. […] Despite its shocking and realistic story, including a brutal showdown, Berlin Preppers is a plea for prudence and impartiality, in short: for reason. One of the best thrillers in the country so far.« Joachim Schneider, Badische Zeitung

»A highly explosive thriller. I have rarely read such a long, furious final. Chapeau!« Christian Koch, rbb radioeins

»A breath-taking horror trip through a dismal Berlin. […] Groschupf tells the gloomy story tough and directly, but at the same time with dry humour and a sure sense for situational comedy.« Hanspeter Eggenberger, Tages-Anzeiger 

»It’s been a long time since someone has written about Berlin so well and so mercilessly. And then the whole thing is presented in the form of a thriller that leaves an extremely lasting impression.« Christian Seidl, Berliner Zeitung

»Really good […]. A frighteningly realistic contemporary novel that I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone with steady nerves.« Nicole Abraham, hr2 Kultur

»A highly toical contemporary novel – not just gripping entertainment but also a lot of substance to think about.« Dietmar Jacobsen, TITEL kulturmagazin

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