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THE PALE CRIMINAL
A GERMAN REQUIEM
THE ONE FROM THE OTHER
A QUIET FLAME
IF THE DEAD RISE NOT
A MAN WITHOUT BREATH
THE LADY FROM ZAGREB
THE OTHER SIDE OF SILENCE
Philip Kerr's Other (Non-Bernie) Books
A Quiet Flame Reader Reviews
edited May 2012
Use this thread to write your review and general opinion of A Quiet Flame. Please give a warning if you are including major spoilers.
Perhaps the weakest Bernie Gunther mystery to date. The flashback style felt especially forced, for some reason. A few good lines, but once again, the web that ensnares Bernie just seems far too convoluted. Maybe I'm just not subtle enough, but the long range goal seems so unlikely in hindsight that it bugs me.
In this one, Bernie has just got off the boat in Argentina, where he was bound at the end of the previous book. He meets the Perons, both Evita and Juan, gets involved in counter spying on other Germans and, most especially, other ex-SS agents. He also gets tangled up with more Jewish refugees, including romantically. There are a few close calls, and the main disappearance mystery is solved in the end.
Speaking of the main mystery's solution, I hated it. It was both vastly unlikely as well as far too neat. Usually there are many strands in a Bernie Gunther book, and while there were several here too, they got all tied up in a manner that made me think Kerr just got tired of writing.
There was also far too much anti-Nazi speechifying. Yes, we all know how horrific it was, and must have been. And we know Bernie wasn't a Nazi, but man, he got strident about it. Maybe Kerr was trying to draw some modern parallels, but I prefer my private eyes to be more cynical and less strident.
The ending seems to have left open the possibility of more, but much like Lee Child's Reacher series, it all seems worn out by now. I hope Mr. Kerr stretches out again.
I agree with the above, This is the book of which I can least remember having read them all in order as they came out (With the exception of the first three which I re-read just before TOFTO came out).
Hahaha, I started reading QF yesterday and in the first Berlin-flashback a policeman with my name (well: nearly) is appearing!
I guess I am going against the grain..but I found QF to be one of the best of the series. I enjoyed the flashback format, and found QF to be a more "mature" entry in the series. BG's weariness seemed to infuse the story; as it should have by that point in his life.
The Argentinian aspect of the Nazi connection, isn't as widely known as it should be and PK does a terrific job of illuminating it.
Thanks, WML. We agree, the flashbacks work well in QF. Though we know some people were a little annoyed by the structure of the book. But no complaints here!
Not a review exactly, as I am only about a third of the way through A Quiet Flame, but I found this article in today's paper timely:
From the article: "Some 75 objects were found in a collector’s home in Beccar, a suburb north of Buenos Aires, and authorities say they suspect they are originals that belonged to high-ranking Nazis in Germany during World War II."
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