©2016 Thynker, Ltd (P)2016 W F Howes Ltd
"Streets ahead of most other historical thrillers [...] the kind of detail that brings the past to life." (Sunday Times)
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This time set on the south of France Bernie tangles with former Nazis and current spies. Yes there's a woman and deceit, tension and violence but a superb performance and masterly plotting ensures freshness and a gripping episode in this ongoing Bernie Gunther saga. Highly recommended.
"Truly 5 star"
I have long followed Bernie Gunter and think Jeff Harding amongst the two best narrators...and this was back to form. For me a pleasure....intelligence, believable characters, snippets of history and enough twists. I listen to lots of crime books but these are a cut above everything. Up there with Peter Mays Scottish books ....but I prefer Bernie Gunters character-which I could get drink on schnapps with him one day.
Once again great story from Philip Kerr. Fantastic twist at the end. Jeff Harding brings it all to life with his brilliant narration.
""Just a citizen with a past""
Loosened the ties to the hero's WW2 past.
It’s quite an achievement to export the figure of a tarnished knight-detective from Southern California and the pages of Raymond Chandler to Berlin, where, pre- and during WW2 he is police detective, private eye and, uncomfortably, involved in state security; then to extricate him from the attentions and patronage of Reinhard Heydrich and other lesser Nazis; before moving him around around the world, post-1945. Here, in the eleventh Bernie Gunther novel, it is Cap Ferrat, 1956, and Gunther is a likely suicide case, when he is not whiling away time as a hotel concierge, under the name Walter Wolfe, and playing bridge twice a week, But it’s the first-person narration that makes Bernie a more successful heir to Philip Marlowe than any tough-guy American private detective, though, in the audio-version, Bernie sounds fully American, while Germans speak, not in Achtung! English but at least with a sinister English accent.
Philip Kerr knows his twentieth-century German and Nazi history well and, in his Berlin novels, he situates the plot expertly as the Nazis come to power and exert it in warfare but with the final solution never far below the surface. In “The Other Side of Silence”, an early reference to Adolf Eichmann getting away with his terrible crimes reminds us that this is four years before he was seized in Argentina, tried in Jerusalem and executed in 1962. The plot is precipitated by the arrival at his hotel of Harold Hennig, ex-Nazi SS, but spirals off into liaisons or encounters with Somerset Maugham, Anthony Blunt, and, at one remove, Kim Philby, Burgess and Maclean, and Roger Hollis. Although Bernie Gunther novels never disappoint, up to a certain level at least, “The Other Side of Silence” is an over-packed and not an entirely successful transition from the Nazi era to the Cold War for Kerr’s “citizen with a past”. Bernie is older and, presumably, better read and the over-crowding is accentuated by his passing and usually tongue-in-cheek references to Goethe, Picasso, Camus, and many more. There's an intriguing Author's Note at the end, which perhaps explains the motivation for Philip Kerr having Bernie Gunther wander into British Cold War scandals.
This is the first of the series for me and I'm completely puzzled as to why the main German character has a "tough guy" American voice when the narrator makes an attempt at different accents for the other characters. Why is that?
Jeff Harding always does a good job on audio books but I can't think why he was chosen to voice Gunther. The story was OK, but meandering, and used lots of real life names to no great effect.
Sorry but won't be bothering with the rest of this series on audio. Maybe they're better on the page?
"OK but not great"
Been a big fan of all Mr Kerr's Bernie Gunter series but this book lacked the suspense and the thriller aspect of many of his previous books and seemed to document rambling camp conversations with Somerset Maugham which to be frank were a little dull and not sure who this book would suit lost on me though
"Philip Kerr, please give up this series"
The early books are great, but the last 2 have been disappointing. The post war story lines are contrived and not very good. I feel the series would be better served by recounting some pre wars tales.
No I love these kind of books. It is great Berlin Noir, but the last few have quite literary lost the plot.
Jeff Harding is a great reader and conjures up that 30's style detective noir of Raymond Chandler.
The very best Bernie Gunther novel to date with thought Provoking insights into the Cambridge spy ring and British Mi5 & MI 6.. With lovely unexpected twists, turns, and thank God Jeff Harding is back as he simply is Bernie Gunther.
"Not up to previous standard"
Good narration as with previous books but story lacks quality and formulaic I think Bernie is better off in normal Nazi environment in Germany
"Bernie is back to his best"
Jeff Harding is one of the very best narrator's
Bernie knows how to turn events always to his advantage - I cannot wait for his next adventure
"Bernie stronger than ever."
Fewer Nazis than usual but more than made up for with a whole cast of real life characters and events. I thoroughly enjoyed Gunther"s eleventh outing. Perhaps more than any previous Gunther novel, some knowledge of Bernie's past certainly adds to the enjoyment.
Jeff Harding's reading was, as ever superb. Harding is Gunther !!!
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