Bernie is a fantastic noir gumshoe; forever down on his luck, somehow always finding himself the subject of affection of countless beautiful women, morally grey at times yet always willing to put it all on the line for the right cause. This being said I actually enjoyed it as a great Bernie Gunther short story of sorts.
From there he is found into a town called Garmish Partenkirche (well known for the annual new Year ski jumping tournament) were he gets some companionship which then leads him into Vienna and were he gets hunted as a war criminal. The surprising issue in this book is how post WWII Germany was hurrying to forget their recent shameful past and that the Allies did not mind. A great thriller that does also shows a darker version of history through the eyes of a former German Policeman who never was a Nazi but too good at his job to not get involved into terrible situations. This Noirish tale of post WWII Germany & Vienna is well written and easy to read.
I can't say much about the Bernie Günther novels that hasn't already been said; superbly constructed plots, sharp and witty dialogue, cynicism, great scene description and brilliant characterisation headed, of course, by Bernie himself, literature's greatest survivor.
Bernie Gunther, private investigator, is the literary heir to Philip Marlowe, and that's a good thing. While the plot in this novel feels a bit contrived, the hardboiled dialog is often fun, and after writing four novels about Bernie Gunther, Kerr knows his main man inside and out.
I have an abiding interest in 19th/20th Century German culture and history, and have visited Berlin several times, so I really love Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther books, though I had to have a break after reading the first three.
In my review of Berlin Noir, I wished that Gunther would end up with a Nazi true-believer as a client so he'd have to deal with someone whose thinking was alien to him. I got my wish, in spades: Gunther is virtually wallowing in war criminals in this story. We end up in Gunther's corner mostly because he's the least-bad figure in the story, not because we especially admire him or hope he wins. If you come to this book after the Berlin Noir: March Violets / The Pale Criminal / A German Requiem omnibus, you already know what you'll get, plus some. If you don't, go back to Berlin Noir and start from there; characters and events from the previous three novels come back to haunt Our Antihero in this one, just as the past keeps coming back to haunt Kerr's Germany.
Well, it seems that Mr Kerr has dropped the technological, and is now writing thrillers set in the past more specifically, post-war Germany. Setting a detective story in Germany after the war is actually a really good idea, as there are lots of potential clients with great secrets which can then become huge conspiracies.
Philip Kerrs The One From The Other forces readers who may have long-held beliefs that WWII was fought for clear right vs. wrong reasons and that actions by forces on either side were also clearly right or wrong, to re-examine that belief.