The Other Side of Silence
Bernie Gunther Thriller 11
By Philip Kerr
Blackmail, espionage and a mass murderer from his past await Bernie Gunther at the French Riviera
The French Riviera, 1956. A world-weary Bernie Gunther is working under a false name as a hotel concierge. His attempts to keep his nose clean go horribly awry when a wartime acquaintance sucks him into a blackmail plot involving one of the most famous British writers of the 20th century and the Cambridge Spies.
Bernie is missing his old detective life when his past walks through the door in the shape of Harold Hennig, a former captain in the Nazi security service - the man who, in 1945, was responsible for the deaths of thousands, among them a woman Bernie loved. Hennig now enjoys a lucrative career as a blackmailer.
Hennig's target on the Cote d'Azur is a famous resident with a dark past and plenty to hide - the writer, Somerset Maugham. A shared love of bridge draws Bernie to Maugham's magnificent villa, where Maugham tells him of the existence of a very compromising photograph. Taken in 1937, it shows Maugham among a group of naked men beside a swimming pool - one of whom is the infamous spy and homosexual, Guy Burgess, who, with Donald Maclean, has recently defected to Moscow. Hennig has the photograph and is demanding $50,000 for its release.
Bernie is reluctant to become Maugham's agent but his former life has made him as vulnerable to blackmail as Maugham himself. Not only that - he has a massive score to settle with Hennig.
- Other details
- Publication date:
29 Mar 2016
- Page count:
A brilliantly twisting tale of espionage and betrayal — Sunday Times
The Other Side of Silence makes for a welcome break from the relentlessly grim atmosphere in which Bernie is accustomed to working — Washington Post
Kerr's novels are modern classics — Simon Sebag Montefiore
Streets ahead of most other historical thrillers in its blend of wit, careful plotting and the kind of detail that brings the past to life - Sunday Times — Sunday Times
Bernie Gunther is one of the more interesting and original private eyes in thriller fiction — The Times
His Raymond Chandleresque mysteries about a cynical Berlin cop reluctantly working for the Nazis are [Kerr's] masterpiece — The Sun
As near perfection as makes no difference — Crime Fiction Lover
Brilliantly done, of course — Weekend Sport
As usual, Kerr is superb at imaginatively mixing his fictional detective with well researched true-life characters and events — The Times
Streets ahead of most other historical thrillers in its blend of wit, careful plotting and the kind of detail that brings the past to life — Sunday Times