The One from the Other (Bernie Gunther Series #4)

( 21 )

Overview

Germany, 1949: Amid the chaos of defeat, it's a place of dirty deals, rampant greed, fleeing Nazis, and all the intrigue and deceit readers have come to expect from this immensely talented thriller writer. In The One from the Other, Hitler's legacy lives on. For Bernie Gunther, Berlin has become too dangerous, and he now works as a private detective in Munich. Business is slow and his funds are dwindling when a woman hires him to investigate her husband's disappearance. No, she doesn't want him back-he's a war ...

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The One from the Other (Bernie Gunther Series #4)

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Overview

Germany, 1949: Amid the chaos of defeat, it's a place of dirty deals, rampant greed, fleeing Nazis, and all the intrigue and deceit readers have come to expect from this immensely talented thriller writer. In The One from the Other, Hitler's legacy lives on. For Bernie Gunther, Berlin has become too dangerous, and he now works as a private detective in Munich. Business is slow and his funds are dwindling when a woman hires him to investigate her husband's disappearance. No, she doesn't want him back-he's a war criminal. She merely wants confirmation that he is dead. It's a simple job, but in postwar Germany, nothing is simple-nothing is what it appears to be. Accepting the case,Bernie takes on far more than he'd bargained for, and before long, he is on the run, facing enemies from every side.

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Editorial Reviews

Patrick Anderson
Several elements account for the excellence of the Gunther books. First, Kerr is a fine novelist; in terms of narrative, dialogue, plot, pace and characterizations, he's in a league with John le Carré and Alan Furst. Moreover, he has done prodigious research into an era that ended well before he was born. The political, historical, military and cultural details on every page feel absolutely authentic. If you want a sense of what Nazi Germany was like, day to day, not many novels equal these. Finally, Kerr was truly inspired to place a detective-turned-private eye at work in Nazi Germany. Private eyes investigate crimes, and where in human history can we find more cosmic crimes than those of the Hitler era? The question was whether Kerr would be equal to the challenge he set for himself. He has been.
— The Washington Post
Marilyn Stasio
Because he never had any illusions to begin with, Gunther is the ideal narrator for Kerr’s bleak tale of the dirty deals made by victors and vanquished alike. Having learned that there’s no way to distinguish “the one from the other,” the cynical P.I. has the moral clarity to see through the deceit and hypocrisy of both friend and foe. He’s the right kind of hero for his time — and ours.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Set in 1949, Kerr's excellent fourth novel to feature Bernhard Gunther (after 1991's German Requiem) finds the erstwhile PI managing a failing hotel about a mile from the site of the Dachau concentration camp. After the death of his wife, Kirsten, in a mental hospital, he calls it quits and opens a private detective agency. A series of missing-Nazi cases sets Bernie on a course that becomes increasingly complicated until he's beaten to a near pulp, had his little finger chopped off and is sent to a mysterious private estate to recover. There he's drawn into a nightmare involving the American occupation and the CIA, and soon his life hangs in the balance. Kerr's stylish noir writing makes every page a joy to read ("The little mouth tightened into a smile that was all lips and no teeth, like a newly stitched scar"). Perfectly plotted, the book builds to a satisfying conclusion. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Fifteen years after his last Bernie Gunther thriller (A German Requiem), Kerr turns his Berlin Noir trilogy into a quartet. In 1949, Bernie closes down his deranged wife's failing hotel in Berlin and returns to Munich. Drawing on his experience as an ex-cop involuntarily absorbed into the SS during World War II a past that will dog his heels he goes into business as a private detective. His first three cases involve missing persons, including a Nazi guilty of numerous atrocities. To track the man down, Bernie has to immerse himself in a world he'd hoped to leave behind, that of the "Old Comrades" who help Nazis flee Germany. But dangerous as it is, the case is not what it seems, and Bernie soon finds himself in another man's shoes, locked in a desperate struggle to save his own life. Bernie's wicked wit is a delight, the plot is gripping, and the historical settings are masterfully developed. Although Kerr sometimes overdoes his descriptions of characters (wildly inventive similes abound), his dazzling touch will sweep readers away. A profound sense of moral introspection underlies the whole. Highly recommended for all public libraries. Ron Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
After 15 years, Kerr (Hitler's Peace, 2005, etc.) dusts off his most compelling protagonist: Bernie Gunther, postwar Berlin's hardest-boiled PI. Last seen in A German Requiem (1991), Bernie's still ready to nail bad guys-if only there weren't so many of them. Ex-Nazis, collaborators of every description, Messalina-like ladies as beautiful as they are wicked . . . the Teutonic melting pot brims with no-goods. As for Bernie himself, well, his copybook is hardly un-blotted. Not that he'd ever been happy about enlisting in the S.S., which, in fact, had been more an impressment than an enlistment. But there are things in his recent past that Bernie isn't proud of, and now he stands an excellent chance of adding to the list. Long-legged, elegant, self-confident Frau Britta Warzok "looked as if she needed help as much as Venice needed rain," but nevertheless she's come to Bernie's office requesting some. She wants him to find her husband, a death-camp commander who is now among the most-sought-after of war criminals. When Bernie points out this unpleasant fact, Frau Warzok explains that what she wants is for him to find her husband dead so that she, a good Roman Catholic, can marry someone else. Leery of the gig but hurting for cash, Bernie signs on. The search does nothing to change his bleak opinion, hardened by a spell in a Soviet POW camp, that "the human propensity to be inhumane" is practically limitless. As a kind of epiphany, it suddenly occurs to our hard-pressed hero that the hunt for Friedrich Warzok has transmogrified into a well-mounted, ill-intentioned, almost-certain-to-succeed hunt for Bernie Gunther. Grim and gripping, with all the author's customary sure-handedness in evidence.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143112297
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/3/2009
  • Series: Bernie Gunther Series , #4
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 196,225
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip Kerr

Philip Kerr is the author of many novels, but perhaps most important are the five featuring Bernie Gunther—A Quiet Flame, The One from the Other, and the Berlin Noir trilogy (March Violets, The Pale Criminal, and A German Requiem). He lives in London and Cornwall, England, with his family.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(13)

4 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2006

    Reprinted from the Nov 2006 'The Historical Novels Review'

    Think Sam Spade as a German PI in postwar Europe, only here the streets are meaner than any in Dashiell Hammett¿s California, and Phillip Kerr¿s creation, Bernie Gunther, has more baggage than a Deutsche Bahn express train. Like many of the classic detective stories, this one starts with a stunning blonde in a red dress, arriving with a seemingly simple task. It leads Gunther into his most complex case, one with consequences that he may not escape. His investigation takes him into a world where good and bad seem synonymous, and one cannot tell the `one from the other.¿ Written in the style of Hammett and Raymond Chandler, this book can be both humorous and disturbing, often in the same paragraph. But the evil portrayed is anything but fictional, from an appearance by Adolph Eichmann to the complicity of the CIA in subverting justice for war criminals. Kerr¿s main character is complex as well, with a past tainted by Nazism and the brutality of war. Far more than just a mystery, this book sheds light on a postwar period largely forgotten, and brings to the fore the very real criminality of both victor and vanquished. For all its rather serious nature, it is a highly entertaining book, imaginatively conceived and smartly executed. Although it stands as a remarkable work of historical fiction, fans of hard-boiled detective stories will not be disappointed. This is the fourth in the Bernie Gunther series, written some fifteen years after his initial appearance. The only disappointment would be if we have to wait another decade and a half for another.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2014

    loved it

    Good light and compelling does great work

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  • Posted November 23, 2013

    Fact and fiction mixed together.

    Having read the trilogy I had to have the follow up. Really enjoyed the history of that era. Mixing the history of the Nazis and rolling it with fiction of the plot, terrific. I can only afford a book every 3 months so I look for to the continuation when I get the next one. Wish they were less expensive. WW2 I relish in the history of it, and the research done for these books I thank you for it.

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  • Posted March 11, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    ¿These Bernie Gunther stories just get better and better. Here w

    “These Bernie Gunther stories just get better and better. Here we see Nazi mass killer Adolf Eichmann being whisked out of Europe after the Second World War through the underground Old Comrade system. He sails to Argentina and eventual capture and trial/execution by the Israelis. His sailing partner is our protagonist Herr Gunther, now a private detective on the run from Austrian police, the Odessa agents and revenge-minded Israelis. A fabulous story of changed ID's, wicked medical experiments and double-dealing Americans. The author continues to come up with interesting and riveting plots intermingling factual events and suppositions that leave one anxious to read another page. I dug this book very much and recommend it to history and mystery buffs.”

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  • Posted February 26, 2013

    The first Bernhard Gunther book that Kerr wrote for about 10 yea

    The first Bernhard Gunther book that Kerr wrote for about 10 years. I thought the time showed, initially - the book was a bit uneven and slow compared to the Berlin triology, and Gunther did not have the same degree of sharp wit, dark humor and repressed violence. But a nice twist in the plot at the end livens things up, and I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series. Lots of backfill in Bernie's WWII service also in this book, and I note the new book in April 2013 is to be all WWII.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2012

    Great historical murder mystery fiction!

    Kerr does not disappoint, Bernie Gunther is still tough as nails, but caring too, as he deals with post-war crime in Munich and Vienna. Good insight into how the Nazi hating Germans felt following the horror that their country had created, and they had personally put up with.

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  • Posted October 18, 2011

    Incredible research of historical period

    For fans of Bernie Gunther this is a must. Kerr has done indredible research and makes yesterdays very understandable. He ranks as an author of World War 2 material with Alan Furst. This book lets the reader into the incredible adjustments taken by the average German in the post war period.

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  • Posted March 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Brillant Series

    Book 4 in the Bernie Gunther series

    The novel follows the "Berlin Noir Trilogy", with a detective story set in post war Germany. It contains a wealth of historical details spun into a complex plot. It covers the reconstruction period of Germany and its new threat, the rapid growth of communism.

    The story starts with a prologue set part in Berlin and part in Palestine in the late 30's. Gunther is sent to Palestine with two mandates, one to facilitate a dealing that would allow a Jewish businessman to flee Germany and the other to shadow Nazi intelligence officers.

    After the introduction that set the tone and is an intricate part of the novel, the action moves to 1949 Germany. Gunther now a struggling hotel owner in Dachau decides to throw in the towel after he is approached and threatened by an individual with a questionable agenda... Soon after the encounter, Gunther decides to return to his former field of expertize, a P.I. with his own business in Munich and at the same time to be close to his wife who is interned at a psychiatric hospital.

    Looking for missing persons can be a messy business especially in post-war Germany where Nazism still taints the air. Hunting Nazis on the run can make the task even more hazardous and adventure filled. Gunther's experience has taught him, clients are not always forthcoming with all the details and a P.I. can easily find himself caught up in a web of spiralling disasters fighting for his own survival....

    Mr. Kerr excels at making his reader's part of the story with first person narration it sometimes feels like Gunther is communicating directly with you. He comes across as a hard boiled, wise- cracking character strongly affected by his past; a past where he has been used as a pawn by multinational plotters in devious games and exploited in political shenanigans. This novel is impeccably plotted; it captures and sheds light on some of the intriguing aspects of post-war Germany while stimulating our interest in a stressful period of history. This is a totalling enthralling story, brilliantly written.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2010

    Gritty realism

    I found this book to be in line of what I have come to expect from the
    author, Philip Kerr. Down to earth believeable characters. The main
    one, Bernie Gunther is presented as a "real man" who would have been welcomed by me as a comrade in arms during my past military career.
    It was hard this book down when I needed to sleep. Highly recommended!

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  • Posted September 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The One From The Other

    For readers interested in reading an author who is witty as well as informative, this book is for you. Germany before & during the WWII era is the main subject & although I've read novels written by American authors with the American slant, this is written with a German slant. It makes you wonder how & why the whole thing started. A very good read.

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Imperfect hero in an even more imperfect world

    Bernard Gunther has lost more things in life than most of us ever had.

    He was a cop as the Nazis took over Germany. He became a private investigator who people trusted, distrusted and respected in roughly equal measure, hired by people who scorned him and then pressed back into service by the very police force he quit in disgust. Near the end of WW II, the Russians captured him and treated him as a war criminal. The One from the Other takes place after the war. Having lost everything, Bernie has resettled his life in Munich and returned to investigating, only to be maltreated by every side in post-war Berlin, Munich and Vienna. (As this book ends, he will flee to Argentina with two of Germany's most infamous characters, where his career will be revived, once again, against his wishes.)

    All the books in Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series are "stand-alone" so sequence is not important. I read this first and then went back to order all the others, enjoying every one. Kerr writes with great detail, as moody and evocative of Germany and Austria as Dickens was of England. Bernie is morally diverse, a compromised idealist with a jabbing, wicked, ironic sense of humor which he cannot contain and it pulls him into trouble at every turn. Kerr's scenes, from womanizing and brutality to his observations about civilian life under Hitler and his gang, are vivid and believable. His plots involve unraveling secret histories others have worked diligently to develop and protect.

    There is no job Bernie Gunther takes that winds up anything like the way it starts. Nothing is as it seems, a darkly fathomable thicket of lies, deceit and misdirections. In one way or another, just about everyone Bernie meets is a victim and a perpetrator. This is escapist historical fiction as real and vivid as it can get.

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  • Posted April 2, 2009

    Really enjoyed

    I wasn't too sure I wanted to buy this book but I ended up really enjoying it. Historical Fiction genre with insight into the confused and conflicted German during Hitler's reign.

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    Posted June 6, 2012

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    Posted January 18, 2010

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    Posted October 29, 2012

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    Posted November 2, 2011

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    Posted February 11, 2012

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    Posted June 21, 2010

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    Posted May 24, 2014

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