‘The Other Side of Silence’ is the 11th novel in Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther series featuring the Berlin homicide detective before, during and after WWII.
It is 1956 and Bernie is working as a hotel concierge on the French Riviera under an assumed name when a high level Nazi that he met during the war walks into the hotel. Harold Hennig was a blackmailer during the was and it seems he is still up to his old tricks.
Hennig’s target on the French Riviera is W. Sommerset Maugham, the famous author, well known to be homosexual. With homosexuality still illegal in Britain, Maugham is keen to keep certain explicit photographs out of circulation. Hennig has asked for Bernie to act as a middle man for the transfer of money and photos.
But the story quickly escalates, and it is Maugham’s past with MI6 that is leading to blackmail. And it turns out that Hebel isn’t solely responsible for the blackmail but working with the security services of another country. And there are others in the story who are not what they appear to be.
In the 1950s with the cold war taking off and with spies and double agents all over Europe, Bernie just wants a quiet life, but can’t help getting in the middle of problems.
This was an excellent novel and once again Kerr managed to drop many famous names into the story, as well as the obligatory romance between Bernie and the wrong sort of woman.
I’m now up to date with the series and eagerly awaiting Bernie Gunther’s next adventure in ‘Prussian Blue’.
Book Published 2016