The Other Side of Silence

Booko: Comparing prices for The Other Side of Silence (Bernie Gunther)

I imagine that there might be some downsides to beginning a 12-volume series with the 11th volume, but I found that I encountered no such difficulties. Overall, it was quite an impressive book, a historical espionage thriller with the lead character being an ex-German police detective from the years of the brutal Nazi regime.

Most of the action takes place on the French Riviera in the fifties where various characters have planted themselves, including Gunther, no w the concierge at an upscale hotel, writer W Somerset Maugham, and others. Gunther is world-weary in spirit having survived the Third Reich, the War, and its aftermath. Bitter, cynical, weary, and now alone with his wife having left to return To Berlin. Gunther, whose most consistent avocation is a twice weekly bridge game, finds himself caught up in a chess game of blackmail, betrayal, perversion, and espionage.

There are flashbacks to his former life in Berlin and his he survived there and was betrayed there and the things that still haunt him.

The action in this novel is mainly the verbal sparring of the world weary players, trying to put away the ghosts of their pasts and to survive the shadows cast in the present day.

Surprisingly, the end notes reveal just how much of this story was truth and how much was fiction.

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