Then a woman seeks him out. Her husband has disappeared. She's not looking to get him back - he's a wanted man who ran one of the most vicious concentration camps in Poland. She just wants confirmation that he's dead. It's a simple enough job. But in post-war Germany, nothing is simple, and Bernie soon finds himself on the run, facing enemies on every side.
©2006 Philip Kerr; (P)2008 Isis Publishing Ltd
"A brilliant transfer of a Chandler novel to postwar Germany." (Guardian)
"A superb crime novel...one of the most gripping and accomplished detective novels published so far this year." (Sunday Times)
"One of the great achievements of contemporary crime fiction....pure Chandler. Powerful and impressive." (Observer)
Philip Kerr writes fine thrillers, and this is one of his best.
The genre is what you might term a 'noir thriller' typified best perhaps by Raymond Chandler, but what gives the book its spice and bite is that the story is set in post-war central Europe. The formula works really well, and the author skillfully weaves into the plot the thread of moral ambivalence that must have characterised the times in that part of the world. The characters are well drawn, and Philip Kerr works in very plausible references to real life villains such as Eichmann. The central character, Bernie Gunther, is not painted as a perfect human being, which I think greatly adds to the story, which is meticulously plotted, written with great pace and verve, and put in a fascinating and interesting historical context.
Narration by Jeff Harding is well judged and paced and greatly enhances the listening pleasure.
Incidentally, this is the fourth book in a sequence (but can be easily read on its own).
Born and named Che Linton Palk in Andover Hospital, Hampshire, one cold January morning 1976.
One from the other is a satisfies as a story. Although it doesn't reach the brilliance of march violets.
A story addicted curmudgeon swimming in a sea of wonderfully crafted words.
Bernie Gunther is no man's fool - he knows there are evils that haunt post war Germany ... he was after all in the SS even though he was transferred to the Russian front as he wouldn't be complicit with mass murderers. He's a good ex-SS man and he knows that beneath the surface of his conquered nation there lies living proof of it's ghastly past. Philip Kerr has the magic of Jo Nesbo to be able to tell a story and suddenly surprise the reader by taking the plot off at a tangent. Just when you sigh and relax feeling Bernie Gunter has resolved a problem the writer takes us off in another direction and accelerates leaving us holding onto our hero's coattail. An added bonus is the no nonsense voice of Jeff Harding who brings life and a bucketful of hard bitten gravel to the character.
I enjoyed this to. It is interesting observing the different levels of corruptness across the book from the butler, to the CIA and the real nazis. All steps on a way. Bit too many dead bodies in Vienna i dont think added much to the plot. The rest was fantastic.
Really enjoyed this non stop adventure, with the reader making it even better.
A satisfyingly complicated plot, mainly set in 1949, as Germany struggles to put itself back together. When his wife dies of flu, heads to Munich to become a private detective once again. With thousands of ex-Nazis who weren't accounted for, a series of cases has Gunther trying to track down what happened to several of these, including one involving a stunning blonde who wants to remarry but can't until her husband (a death camp commandant) is proven dead. This is the catalyst for Gunther's getting involved in a very tangled web of Nazis on the run, the Catholic Church pipeline which helped them escape, the occupying forces, the CIA, and all the sordid corruption of the postwar era, when everyone was running some kind of scam. What makes the story especially engaging is the Gunther himself served in the SS, and did things in the war that still haunt him. Like everyone else in the story, he's guilty, complicit, and can't change the past.
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