Photo by moertl used under a Creative Commons license.
Philip Kerr, The One from the Other (Penguin, 2009).
Kerr’s hard-boiled detective, Bernie Gunther, known to readers of his Berlin Noir trilogy, is back again. It is 1949, and Gunther finds himself running an inn in Munich, but innkeeping is not really Gunther’s metier, particularly when the inn is across the street from the Dachau camp. He soon goes to work as a private investigator, looking for a missing husband. In post-war Munich, Americans are hard to miss and ex-Nazis are hard to avoid.
Wikipedia’s bio of Kerr is a little thin. Here is a brief Q&A with him. The Complete Review says it’s occasionally far-fetched, and trying too hard, but thoroughly entertaining. Ron Rosenbaum (The New York Observer) says Kerr is unique in that he bridges the private-eye and public-spy genres . Simon Clews (The Age) says Kerr’s almost gothic characters are drawn with a painterly eye . Patrick Anderson (The Washington Post) calls Kerr’s Germany a searing portrait of Hell on Earth. Peter Guttridge (The Guardian) calls it slow-moving but intelligent, if didactic. Marilyn Stasio (The New York Times Book Review) calls it a bleak tale of the dirty deals made by victors and vanquished alike. Tim Davis calls it tense, chilling and provocative. C. Michael Bailey (Blogcritics) thinks Kerr creates an intriguing picture of postwar-occupied German. Whisky Prajer says it doesn’t soar to the heights or plummet to the depths of Berlin Noir. Yvonne Klein sees a complex, tricky plot. Irma Heldman (Open Letters) says you can smell the depravity and feel the evil (n.b. – this review is long on plot). Chris Marshall thoroughly enjoyed it. Jedidiah Ayres says the research and period details are priceless. And if you speak Dutch, this Philip Kerr page is for you.