The Other Side of Silence

The Other Side of Silence

Book - 2016
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From New York Times -bestselling author Philip Kerr, the much anticipated return of Bernie Gunther in a series hailed by The Daily Beast as "the best crime novels around today."

Once I'd been a good detective in Kripo, but that was a while ago, before the criminals wore smart gray uniforms and nearly everyone locked up was innocent." Being a Berlin cop in 1942 was a little like putting down mousetraps in a cage full of tigers.

The war is over. Bernie Gunther, our sardonic former Berlin homicide detective and unwilling SS officer, is now living on the French Riviera. It is 1956 and Bernie is the go-to guy at the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, the man you turn to for touring tips or if you need a fourth for bridge. As it happens, a local writer needs just that, someone to fill the fourth seat in a regular game that is the usual evening diversion at the Villa Mauresque. Not just any writer. Perhaps the richest and most famous living writer in the world: W. Somerset Maugham. And it turns out it is not just a bridge partner that he needs; it's some professional advice. Maugham is being blackmailed--perhaps because of his unorthodox lifestyle. Or perhaps because of something in his past, because once upon a time, Maugham worked for the British secret service, and the people now blackmailing him are spies.

As Gunther fans know, all roads lead back to the viper's nest that was Hitler's Third Reich and to the killing fields that spread like a disease across Europe. Even in 1956, peace has not come to the continent: now the Soviets have the H-bomb and spies from every major power feel free to make all of Europe their personal playground.
Publisher: New York :, Marian Wood Books,, [2016]
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780399177040
0399177043
Characteristics: 400 pages.

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A bit convoluted in his strung out story of why he was a Nazi spy ( told to save his life) but otherwise fascinating blend of historical fact and great fiction.

g
gvenkatesh
Dec 02, 2016

The novel starts promisingly with dark but witty Raymond Chandler-like private-eye monologues from the protagonist and ends with brilliant tale-spinning of the type that made the author's previous novels successful. Unfortunately, this one spends most of the middle dawdling as if in search of a plot to end with. Weaving in W. Somerset Maugham, his spy career and his alternate lifestyle into the plot does not salvage the dreary and the very British self-deprecation style carried to extremes.

m
mstolarik
Sep 08, 2016

Philip Kerr is one of my favourite authors, unfortunately this was not one of his better books.

g
gogo12127
Aug 11, 2016

Bernie Gunther is the quintessential anti-hero and arguably the most complex and multidimensional protagonist in crime fiction.

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