The Other Side of Silence.pdf
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.
Praise for Philip Kerr and the Bernie Gunther novels:
“Philip Kerr is the only bona fide heir to Raymond Chandler.” —Jonathan Ames, Salon.com
“On any continent, in any decade, no one does melancholy better than Bernie Gunther, and melancholy, after all, is the hard-boiled mystery fans’ emotion of choice.” —Bill Ott, Booklist
“In terms of narrative, plot, pace and characterization, Kerr’s in a league with John le Carré.”
—Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post
“Bernie just tries to behave decently in a world where the serial killers run the governments and history itself may be the biggest crime of all. Bernie walks down streets so mean that nobody can stay alive and remain truly clean.” —John Powers, Fresh Air (NPR)
“Kerr quantum leaps the limitations of genre fiction. Most thriller writers insult your intelligence; his thrillers assault your ignorance.” —Esquire
“Bernie Gunther is the right kind of hero for his time—and ours.” —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
“The Bernie Gunther novels are first-class, as stylish as Chandler and as emotionally resonant as the best of Ross Macdonald.” —George Pelecanos
“A wily if unreliable narrator, Bernie may be forgiven for holding his cards so close to his chest as he tries to do the right thing in so many wrong places. Shades of the moral ambiguity of some of Graham Greene’s and John le Carré’s more memorable characters are here, as is the spirit of Raymond Chandler’s knight-errant, Philip Marlowe.” —Paula L. Woods, Los Angeles Times
Philip Kerr is the author of ten previous Gunther novels. Field Gray and Prague Fatale made the New York Times extended list, while A Man Without Breath debuted at #13 last year. The Gunther books have garnered nominations for the Edgar and Shamus Awards, and Kerr has won the British Crime Writers’ Association Ellis Peters Award for Historical Crime Fiction. As P. B. Kerr, he is the author of the much-loved young-adult fantasy series Children of the Lamp. He lives in London and tours annually in America.