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The One from the Other: A Bernie Gunther Novel [Paperback]

Philip Kerr
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 3 2009 Bernie Gunther
Bernie Gunther, the iconoclastic private-eye, is the ideal narrator for Philip Kerr's bleak tale of the dirty deals made by victors and vanquished alike in post-war Germany. Having learned that there's no way to distinguish 'the one from the other', the cynical P.I. has the moral clarity to see through the deceit and hypocrisy of both friend and foe. Munich, 1949: Amid the chaos of defeat, it's a place of dirty deals, rampant greed, fleeing war criminals, and all the backstabbing intrigue that prospers in the aftermath of war. A place where a private eye can find a lot of not-quite-reputable work: cleaning up the Nazi past of well-to-do locals, abetting fugitives in the flight abroad, sorting out rival claims to stolen goods. It's work that fills Bernie with disgust - but it also fills his sorely depleted wallet. Then a woman seeks him out. Her husband has disappeared. She's not looking to get him back - he's a wanted man who ran one of the most vicious concentration camps in Poland. She just wants confirmation that he's dead. It's a simple enough job. But in post-war Germany, nothing is simple...
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Set in 1949, Kerr's excellent fourth novel to feature Bernhard Gunther (after 1991's German Requiem) finds the erstwhile PI managing a failing hotel about a mile from the site of the Dachau concentration camp. After the death of his wife, Kirsten, in a mental hospital, he calls it quits and opens a private detective agency. A series of missing-Nazi cases sets Bernie on a course that becomes increasingly complicated until he's beaten to a near pulp, had his little finger chopped off and is sent to a mysterious private estate to recover. There he's drawn into a nightmare involving the American occupation and the CIA, and soon his life hangs in the balance. Kerr's stylish noir writing makes every page a joy to read ("The little mouth tightened into a smile that was all lips and no teeth, like a newly stitched scar"). Perfectly plotted, the book builds to a satisfying conclusion. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

After a 15-year hiatus during which he's taken readers from the Himalayan snows to Enlightenment England, Kerr returns to the war-torn Germany of his Berlin Noir trilogy with a fourth case for sardonic detective Bernhard Gunther. It is 1949, and fed up with trying to run a hotel next door to Dachau, Gunther hangs out his shingle and in walks a tall blond with marriage on her mind and a missing husband on her conscience. Gunther sets out to track down the renowned sadist, one of many SS spiders able to slip through the Allies' dragnet and find refuge in the Americas. Of course, nothing is quite as it seems, and our knight's detached weltschmerz gets a fresh coat of tarnish. As with his earlier Gunther books, Kerr follows Raymond Chandler's playbook closely, adapting his trademark metaphors with all the subtlety of a goose-step and the restraint of Hermann Goring at a knackwurst-eating contest, to say nothing of the relish. Still, the knockabout action should please most fans of classic hard-boiled mystery and historical espionage. David Wright
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Bernie Gunther's Nine(ty) Lives Oct. 30 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As with all Philip Kerr novels, The One From the Other, did not fail to entertain. Bernie Gunther's nihilism, sense of humour, single mindedness, risk taking and death avoidance are signature details of the series and this novel is woven with the same elements that make Gunther the ideal anti hero. One criticism is Gunther's almost predictable ( and slightly tedious) womanizing. Perhaps one could say it was the times, but the women of Bernie Gunther's world are mostly untrustworthy tarts whose main assets are not in the part of the body that drives the thinking process. Kerr's anti-Arab rant at the end of the novel seemed ideological and out of place as it rather clumsily conflated the entrenched antisemitism of the Europeans with the Arab-Israeli conflict of today. It's a rather disingenuous bit of reasoning that has been widely discredited. Still, the atmospherics, punctuated with historical detail and first person storytelling, transports the reader to a different era where calculated miscarriages of justice were commonplace, good guys and bad buys were indistinguishable and the high principles that honest people lived their lives by were sacrificed so they could survive another day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique twist on the detective story Aug. 3 2010
By Rodge TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Kerr takes the hard-boiled detective and puts him on the quite authentically mean streets of post-war Germany, sending his readers on a topsy-turvy ride through what amounts to a quite thrilling and unpredictable ride. Unfortunately the end action turns somewhat on Gunther behaving in a somewhat careless fashion and getting caught, but that's really the only hiccup that ventures near irritation. Kerr's writing should be satisfying enough for those who prefer good style, making this a thriller that the more picky among us can enjoy without too much irritation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Good, the Bad and Indifferent June 6 2010
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
In 1949 Kerr's hero extraordinaire, Bernie Gunther, is no ordinary survivor of the Hitler era. After years of working for the Kripos, the SD and the SS in the Nazis' resettlement of Eastern Europe during WW II, Gunther has come home to start his life again. Jobs are scarce and friends are few, so Gunther turns his talents to doing what he knows best: locating missing persons, an apparent growth industry in a divided post-war Germany. Out of the blue he is hired to investigate the whereabouts of a missing husband who has sinister ties to the Holocaust and is a condemned war criminal in absentia. Along the way, Gunther will become involved in a web of treachery that will call on his best instinctive skills just to stay alive. What keeps him going is his pragmatic sense of how to get close enough to the enemy without being compromised or being caught. In this case his nemesis is a prominent Nazi right-wing group protecting high-ranking members of the Gestapo diectly involved in the Final Solution. Gunther, like in the other chapters of his life, is a man motivated by a subtle combination of self-enlightened preservation and a strong sense of morality. I would recommend this thriller because Kerr encases his story in a very fast-moving plot line that takes the reader into some very hair-raising and chilling adventures from which only a person of incredible wit, charm and savvy to extricate himself. As Gunther becomes further entangled in the web of sinister circumstances, we find him more committed than ever to getting at the truth of the matter, regardless of the cost to limb and life. Nothing fazes this man because he has seen it all before in the horrors of Nazism and the war. Read more ›
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