A Quiet Flame : Bernie Gunther

  • by Philip Kerr
  • Narrated by Jeff Harding
  • Series: Bernie Gunther
  • 12 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Posing as an escaping Nazi war criminal, Bernie Gunther, Berlin's hardest-boiled private eye, arrives in Buenos Aires. When he reveals his real identity to the local chief of police, he 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. Circumstances lead the chief of police to suppose that the murderer may be one of several thousand ex-Nazis who have fetched up in Argentina since 1945. Reluctantly, Gunther agrees to help find the murderer, and discovers much more than he, or they, bargained for.

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What the Critics Say

"I love Bernie Gunther. If he was an accountant in Pinner and not an ex-cop-turned-private-investigator mixed up in the dangerous Nazi subculture of 1930s Berlin, falling foul of the Gestapo, being driven to secret meetings with Goering, I'd probably still love him." (Sue Arnold, Guardian)
"Kerr is an unlikely genius." (Daily Mirror)
"Kerr brilliantly evokes the edgy atmosphere of the post-war period." (Sunday Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A very PC man

This story starts in Argentina after WW2 when Perron and his wife Eva are in power and welcome Nazis fleeing prosecution by the Allies in Europe. Our hero is found not to be a Nazi war criminal but a former Berlin dectective from the Weimar Republic who hates Nazis. The story moves back to decadent Weimar Berlin as well as Argentina in the 1950s.

The detective's sarcastic comments to his Nazi sergeant and the Brown Shirts his meets investigating a series of horrible murders became so irritating that I did not listen any more. Could a man be so righteous and so uncaring about his career to be so stupid as well a supposed brilliant detective? It did not seem credible.

Sadly it seems the man protest too much; that continuous level of scarcasm kept the story at an unacceptable level of invective that I lost interest. I felt the author was trying to make sure the reader understood that he did not side with the nazis. It was a pity that he could not make the protagonist a little more human instead.

Although the story had some interesting points about Weimar Germany and the Perronist Argentina, I felt that the narrator's US accent made it seem that this was an American's point of view - why could he not have a German accent? It seems odd and it skewed the story's narrative.

Disappointing.
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- Rogayah "Glued to a story, but could also be knitting , unknitting, cooking, drawing cats or doing Chinese Calligraphy and learning a language or try"

Another great Bernie Gunther thriller

A Quiet Flame is skilfully done - weaving 1950's Buenos Aires with an unsolved murder from Berlin in 1932 almost seamlessly.

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.

And at the heart of the story once again is Bernie Gunther - this time under a new guise and living in South America - but up against old adversaries and uncovering murky secrets from the past. 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. Kerr breaths life convincingly into his characters and settings - and the history is seriously well done.
Brilliant narration again by Jeff Harding.
Note that this is the 5th in the series and should be listened to after the preceding four.
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- chris

Book Details

  • Release Date: 14-11-2008
  • Publisher: ISIS Audio Books