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A Quiet Flame Audio Cassette – Audiobook, 1 Nov 2008

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Audio Cassette, Audiobook, 1 Nov 2008
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: ISIS Audio Books (1 Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753138980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753138984
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Philip Kerr was born in 1966 and read Law at Birmingham University. Having learned nothing as an undergraduate lawyer he stayed on as postgraduate and read Law and Philosophy, most of this German, which was when and where he first became interested in German twentieth century history and, in particular, the Nazis. Following university he worked as a copywriter at a number of advertising agencies, including Saatchi & Saatchi, during which time he wrote no advertising slogans of any note. He spent most of his time in advertising researching an idea he'd had for a novel about a Berlin-based policeman, in 1936. And following several trips to Germany - and a great deal of walking around the mean streets of Berlin - his first novel, March Violets, was published in 1989 and introduced the world to Bernie Gunther.
"I loved Berlin before the wall came down; I'm pretty fond of the place now, but back then it was perhaps the most atmospheric city on earth. Having a dark, not to say black sense of humour myself, it's always been somewhere I feel very comfortable."
Having left advertising behind, Kerr worked for the London Evening Standard and produced two more novels featuring Bernie Gunther: The Pale Criminal (1990) and A German Requiem (1991). These were published as an omnibus edition, Berlin Noir in 1992.
Thinking he might like to write something else, he did and published a host of other novels before returning to Bernie Gunther after a gap of sixteen years, with The One from the Other (2007).
Says Kerr, "I never intended to leave such a large gap between Book 3 and Book 4; a lot of other stuff just got in the way; and I feel kind of lucky that people are still as interested in this guy as I am. If anything I'm more interested in him now than I was back in the day."
Two more novels followed, A Quiet Flame (2008) and If the Dead Rise Not (2009).
Field Gray (2010) is perhaps his most ambitious novel yet that features Bernie Gunther. Crossing a span of more than twenty years, it takes Bernie from Cuba, to New York, to Landsberg Prison in Germany where he vividly describes a story that covers his time in Paris, Toulouse, Minsk, Konigsberg, and his life as a German POW in Soviet Russia.
Kerr is already working on an eighth title in the series.
"I don't know how long I can keep doing them; I'll probably write one too many; but I don't feel that's happened yet."
As P.B.Kerr Kerr is also the author of the popular 'Children of the Lamp' series.

Product Description

Review

"'He's in a league with John le Carre and Alan Furst.' Washington Post" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

Bernie Gunther, Berlin's hardest-boiled private eye, returns in this his latest outing. Moving the plot from pre-war Germany to the dangers of Argentina in 1950 and the post-war world of Hitler's most notorious war criminals, Kerr yet again delivers a powerful, compelling thriller. Posing as an escaping Nazi war criminal Bernie Gunther arrives in Buenos Aires and, having revealed his real identity to the local chief of police, discovers that his reputation as a detective goes before him. A young girl has been murdered in peculiarly gruesome circumstances that strongly resemble Bernie's final case as a homicide detective with the Berlin police during the dog days of the Weimar Republic. A case he had failed to solve. Circumstances lead the chief of police in Buenos Aires to suppose that the murderer may be one of several thousand ex-Nazis who have fetched up in Argentina since 1945. And, therefore, who better than Bernie Gunther to help him track that murderer down? Reluctantly Bernie agrees to help the police and discovers much more than he, or even they, bargained for. Redolent with atmosphere and featuring compelling portraits of real characters, such as Eva and Juan Peron, Adolf Eichmann, and Otto Skorzeny, this novel ends up asking some highly provocative questions about the true extent of Argentina's Nazi collaboration and anti-Semitism under the Perons.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By G. J. Oxley on 7 April 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fans of Philip Kerr's original trilogy of Bernie Gunther books were delighted in 206 when after a gap of 16 years, a fourth volume `The One from the Other' hit the bookshops in July.

Barely 15 months on and there's a very welcome fifth book in the series. And while reading it, it becomes clear that there are plans for at least one more volume from `the thinking reader's thriller writer'

Ex-Berlin homicide detective and private eye Bernie Gunther finds himself in Buenos Aries, Argentina in 1950 (read `The One From The Other' to find out why), a time when Juan Peron's government offered a safe haven for Nazi war criminals. The action switches largely between Berlin in 1932 - and Bernie's last abandoned case as a police officer when the mutilated body of a spastic teenage girl is discovered - and Buenos Aires in 1950 where he is invited to investigate a case with striking similarities.

What appears to be a simple case turns out to be anything but; twist is piled upon twist, and Gunther unwraps layer after layer until the final shocking revelation is revealed.

Once again, this is peopled with real personalities - Juan and Evita Peron, Adolf Eichmann, Joseph Mengele etc. - and blends fiction with conjecture based upon historical fact. It includes a chilling portrait of the man who was third ranked in the SS at the end of World War II, General Hans Kammler; perhaps the most heinous SS officer never to be caught.

Bernie Gunther is a great creation, never afraid to poke his nose into things he's been warned to keep out of. He's brave, principled and wisecracking - one character remarks he has a 'smart mouth' - and that gets him into trouble. He's a throwback to the golden age of Hammett and Chandler.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Leonard Fleisig TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Nor public flame nor private dares to shine;
Nor human spark is left, nor glimpse divine!
Lo! thy dread empire Chaos is restor'd,
Light dies before thy uncreating word;
Thy hand, great Anarch, lets the curtain fall,
And universal darkness buries all." Alexander Pope

Bernie Gunther's flame is certainly a quiet one. He's a good detective, but a flawed man. The key though to Gunther's appeal is the fact that no one is more aware of his failings than Gunther himself. Philip Kerr does an excellent job evoking this self-reflection in his most recent Bernie Gunther detective story, "A Quiet Flame".

For those new to Kerr's Bernie Gunther stories, Gunther is a detective. He is German and during most of the series, set in the 1930s and 1940s we saw Gunther working as a detective in Berlin. He is virulently opposed to the Nazis to the point where many of his colleagues accuse him of being a communist. Yet, first and foremost Gunther wants to be a detective, he wants to solve cases and would like nothing better than to be left alone to do his job. However, he went along. Once the war came he found himself in the SS. He's not proud of his behavior and accepts the fact that he is guilty of `the crime of survival'. He says to himself, ruefully, that if he were truly a good man, he'd be dead because he would have stood up against the Nazis.

Now, it is 1950, and Bernie has fled Europe. He is wanted (wrongfully) for being a war criminal after having his identity stolen but he uses his new identity to escape to Argentina. Upon arrival he finds he has exchanged the madness and machinations of the Nazi regime for that of Juan and Eva Peron's.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gs-trentham VINE VOICE on 28 July 2012
Format: Paperback
At the end of If the Dead Rise Not, Bernie Gunther was escaping to Argentina. In A Quiet Flame he has arrived, though not quite left Berlin behind. The story alternates between Germany in 1932 and Argentina in 1950. As with all Philip Kerr's work, the research has been formidable, the personal traits of Peron and Evita vouched for in an after note. But the downside is a plethora of authentic but small, irrelevant details (Augustin Magaldi came on Radio El Mundo singing Vagabundo. This had been a huge hit for him in the thirties) that stretches the book to more than 400 pages.

The reason for the dual locations is the similarity between an investigation Bernie undertook in Berlin and another he is pitched into in Buenos Aires. For the first half of the book these are virtually two separate stories, requiring the reader to reorientate and remember every thirty or so pages. The final unravelling depends heavily upon an improbable confession by a minor character and leads to even more unlikely melodrama.

Followers of Philip Kerr will find here all the author's characteristics - good and bad.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A. Browne on 1 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Absolutely Brilliant. I loved this book . great story. exciting location. and more character development. you can read this as a stand alone novel but the best way is as part of the series.You learn so muh more with each story and Bernie Gnther is becoming one of the most rounded detectives in fiction. One quibble he finds a babe every where, they fall for him and it doesn't work out ( no further spoilers) A love interest is all very well but it all seems to easy. Any way i am already to follow Bernie to Cuba.
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