‘The One From the Other’ is Philip Kerr’s 4th Bernie Gunther novel and was written many years after the 3rd in the series.
The story is set in 1949 and gives us a glimpse of postwar Germany. The country is occupied by the allies and the Russians and most German people just want to forget about the war. It is only the high level Nazis who are wanted for war crimes and they are doing whatever they can to escape justice – sometimes with the help of the Americans or Russians.
Gunther is working as a Private Detective in Munich. There is a lot of work in postwar Germany in tracing missing people. Gunther’s latest client is a woman who wants to find out about her husband. He was a brutal commander of a Polish concentration camp. She is hoping that her husband is dead so that she can remarry.
But in the search for answers, Gunther steps on a few too many of the wrong toes. He winds up in hospital and meets some fascinating people during his recovery.
It takes Gunther far too long to work out what is really going on and to discover that he has been used by others as part of a Nazi escape route. But can Gunther escape from being tried as a war criminal himself?
What a crazy chaotic place Germany must have been after the war! Many war criminals were able to walk away – particularly scientists who often walked straight into jobs in America and Russia, but only if the Jewish death squads didn’t get them first.
Bernie Gunther is a likeable character in this novel which is probably my favourite in the series so far. He doesn’t always make the right decisions and often finds himself on the same side as the baddies. But deep down he usually tries to get things right.
I’m looking forward to catching up with Bernie Gunther again in the next novel – ‘A Quiet Flame’.
Book Published 2006