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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » A Quiet Flame: A Novel (Bernie Gunther Novels) » User review

Buenos Aires noir

  • Apr 21, 2010
Rating:
+5
Bernie Gunther certainly has become a travelling man! Smuggled out of post-war Germany in 1950, he ends up in the Argentina of Juan Peron, as did many ex-Nazis (even though he isn't like they are). He even gets to meet Peron and Evita, and later in the book has a private meeting with her. Once he is recognized as the well-known Berlin detective he was many years ago, he is dragooned into searching for the missing daughter of a German banker.

There are the usual twists and turns in this book, with Bernie not knowing who he can trust, nor can he rely on what he is being told by different people. There is a love interest, which is something unusual for Bernie, and he gets to finally solve a series of grisly murders he invetigated back in Berlin in 1932.

The author brings in many infamous Nazis, such as Eichmann, Scorzeny and Mengele, along with some minor ones. All of them have something to do with the plot, and none of them are likeable, which I suspect is the author's point.

The excitement mounts to a conclusion which sees Bernie once again moving to another venue, which I'm sure will be the site of his next tale. Can't wait to read it!

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About the reviewer
Frank J. Konopka ()
Ranked #93
I'm a small town general practice attorney in the hard coal region of Pennsylvania. Books are my passion, andI read as many of them asI can. Being the President of the local library board for over … more
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Starred Review. At the start of Kerr's stellar fifth Bernie Gunther novel (afterThe One from the Other), the former Berlin homicide detective seeks exile in Argentina in 1950, along with others connected to the Nazi past (one of his fellow ship passengers is Adolf Eichmann). A few weeks after Gunther arrives in Buenos Aires, a local policeman, Colonel Montalbán, asks his help in solving the savage murder of 15-year-old Grete Wohlauf. Montalbán has noticed similarities between this crime and two unsolved murders Gunther investigated in 1932 Germany. Another teenage girl's disappearance heightens the urgency of the inquiry. In exchange for free medical treatment for his just diagnosed thyroid cancer, Gunther agrees to subtly grill members of the large German community. A secret he stumbles on soon places his life in jeopardy. Kerr, who's demonstrated his versatility with high-quality entries in other genres, cleverly and plausibly grafts history onto a fast-paced thriller plot.(Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.
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ISBN-10: 0143116487
ISBN-13: 978-0143116486
Author: Philip Kerr
Publisher: Penguin

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"Buenos Aires noir"
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