The Other Side of Silence
28 June 2016
Former Berlin detective Bernie Gunther has survived the war and the beginning of the Cold War. In 1956 he’s living under an assumed name, working as a concierge in the Grand Hotel in Cap-Ferrat and feeling very sorry for himself when an old adversary walks through the door. Harold Hennig, a former Nazi SS captain, now working as a blackmailer. His target is the writer Somerset Maugham, who lives in the Villa Mauresque and has invited Bernie to join him playing bridge. Maugham appears in a compromising photograph with, among others, Guy Burgess. When Bernie is asked for help his reluctance to get involved is outweighed by his desire for revenge on Hennig.
Philip Kerr is an elegant writer with a wry, sardonic tone. Bernie Gunther is one of the more interesting detectives in modern fiction, flaws and all. Even if you haven’t read his earlier books ‘The Other Side of Silence’ can be read as a stand alone title. The characters are all well-developed with sufficient backstory to set the scene for this tale of early Cold War espionage.