This is a very entertaining story. The hero is a classic 1930s detective, the story moves nicely along, but the best part was the setting -- Germany ..Show More »75 years ago. It was completely captivating.
An interesting premise, and a book that ought to have appealed. But, why does the main character have an American voice? At first, I thought there wou..Show More »ld be some explanation -- the hero is some sort of Rick figure who got stranded in Germany in the war, or maybe he had an American parent from whom he learned English -- but no, the story makes clear he spent his life in Germany with German parents. Not sure which is more insulting: the idea that a good person wouldn't have a German accent, or that a presumably mostly American audience can't listen to an accent for the entire length of an audio book. Recommend one read the book, not listen to it. Let your inner voice provide the appropriate voices.
I've only done reviews for a handful of the hundreds I've listened to from Audible and other sources. The vast majority of selections one finds are o..Show More »k, reasonably entertaining, decent narration, ... they pass the time. I tend to review when I find the book either a real turkey or, on the other hand, quite a find. This one is the latter category ... it's a really good piece of historical fiction with outstanding narration. I'm a fan of WW II historical dramas and films and this one kept kept reminding me of the incredible 2001 film "Conspiracy", about the Wannsee Conference where the Final Solution was hammered out, especially in its stark portrayal of Reinhard Heydrich who was also a central figure in "Conspiracy". But "The Pale Criminal" is also an excellent mystery in the noir manner about a serial killer of young girls in 1930s Nazi Germany. And it does an interesting psychological thing with its twists on psychotherapy, Jung, and others. I really, really liked this book, and am going to go looking for more by Phillip Kerr.
The book is very interesting. It depicts the people trying to survive after WWII and the occupation of both the USA and USSR. The writing depicting t..Show More »his period is much better than any movie I've seen showing this period. Additionally, the perspective is unique, because it is not the story of GIs in post war Germany.
The plot is very good and never got boring (espionage). It was realistic in that bad things happened to 'good' characters...
What makes this a great book is the setting, the characters, and author's depth of knowledge of the period and expressing the subtleties in his writing. I read this book before March of Violets (March of Violets is set in 1936). Each book stands on it's own and I would say I liked this book better.
This could have been a good listen but for the fact that the narrator who was supposed to be German had an American accnet which reminds one of the Mi..Show More »cky Spillane radio series. Yet the narrator showed that he was quite capable of sounding like German accented English. This spoiled it for me.
This is my first experience listening to a book by this author and I was very pleasntly surprised. Not only is the plot well developed, it is not obv..Show More »ious until near the denoument. Some of the villians are actually likable until they are revealed. There is a refreshing lack of plot crutches such as making the bad guys much smarter/skilled than the hero to create tension or making players do things that are completely out of character. The author also infuses the main character with a clever sense of humor. As usual, John Lee does an amazing narration and, thankfully, doesn't effect a German accent throughout the book.
Excellent Evocation of Peron's Argentina. Gunther rides again!
The brilliant interpretation we have come to expect; flawless characterisation and fluid and fluent reading. Gunther stumbles on to the truth with cha..Show More »os and danger all around him. A welcome change of scene with fascist Argentina and the many Nazi war criminals in hiding there. Vintage Kerr and brilliant Jeff Harding!
I haven't finished the series, but this one may be the best of the bunch. Standing alone it deserves five stars across the board. Narration by Paul ..Show More »Hecht is, to my ear, his best effort to date. Flash backs are clear easy to follow and directly relevant to the point of departure. I wish more authors understood their proper use. One hardly need suspend disbelief to engage with this book. Enjoy! It's a great read.
This book is after "A Quiet Flame" in the Bernie Gunther series, which is not on audible. I tired of waiting for audible add that book, so I..Show More » found a print ed. and read it before listening to this one.
It's very disappointing listening to a Bernie Gunther story with the coarse, monotone voice of Paul Hecht instead of the smooth and melodious John Lee. There's a very striking difference and while Hecht is competent with the various pronunciations, he doesn't give it that same kind of intonation or German accent that Lee provides with flare.
Eventually, the story (begun in the time preceding the Berlin Olympics) grows into a compelling one and the narrator is not as much of an issue. The first part of the book takes place in this pre-Olympics era of Berlin and is centered on interconnected events surrounding the preparations for these Olympics.
As those events near resolution though, the story jumps ahead to 1950's Cuba. Here Gunther is living under an assumed identity gained at the end of "The One from the Other", and follows events in Argentina that took place in "A Quiet Flame". Some of this is referred to in passing as the story moves along, but it isn't imperative that you have read "A Quiet Flame" to follow this story. (I do think "A Quiet Flame" is well worth a read however, and is in fact one of the more poignant additions to the series).
In Cuba, Bernie is reunited with some characters he met in 1930's Berlin, and a new case develops. The mystery in this part jumps around and isn't as compelling as the earlier one. I found it rather transparent about what really happens, and was unsurprised by any revelations at the end.
Still it's a solid addition the Gunther Series, and as it looks like future books are narrated by Paul Hecht as well, if you want to listen the rest of the series I would try getting used to the narrator now. He's not great, but after you've adjusted to him, he doesn't really distract from the story, it just won't have that same flare.
This should have been a great book, for me it wasn't indeed I didn't finish it., tedious in my view discribes it best. It doged about different time f..Show More »rames without to much effort in connection, to many characters that played little part in what should have been a plot. For me the only saving grace was the narrator but he couldn't save this book. On the whole a waste of a good credoit
Too long, too much exposition bogs this Gunther novel down. Too many coincidences, too much of Superman Bernie's exploits stretch reality to the broke..Show More »n, not breaking, point. Good historical info to be had, but somewhat dry and even boring. The ending is just plain nuts! For diehard fans only. Narration is wonderful, as always.
All the books I've read in The Bernie Gunther series have compelling storylines and envelope you in the world and era in which they take place, and th..Show More »is book is no exception. I finished it within two days and was wishing for more by the end.
Unlike some of the recent books in the series, this one takes place entirely within the same period of time and setting, Berlin and Prague during WWII. Without giving too much away, it's another multifaceted mystery that begins in Berlin with Gunther working as an SD investigator after being recalled from the Russian Front. Eventually, he's called to Prague and with the blanket authority of Heidrich, ends up investigating a mass-murdering list of SD and SS officers, all of which are suspects in the murder of a fellow officer. There are some poignant moments and the irony of investigating each of these men for a single murder when they're responsible for so many other deaths already, is well-imprinted on the story.
As narrator, Paul Hecht, is adequate, but after listening to the fantastic work of John Lee in the first books in this series, it's difficult to equate him with Bernie Gunther. He doesn't provide the same kind of intonation or accents to the story. While he doesn't really add to the depth of book, he's at least an adequate narrator that does not distract from the story or make the book difficult to listen to, (which compared to some narrators, is a valuable quality in and of itself).
Fine story -- as always -- by Philip Kerr. But the narration was weak. Little definition in the sound of various characters, leaving it often confusi..Show More »ng about who was speaking in the story.
Mr. Kerr, Thank you, sir, for this joyous godsend from your literary treasure trove. You answered your fan's uproarious "request" for a reunion of B..Show More »ernie Gunter and John Lee. Bravo! What a delicious (long awaited) treat: Bernie never missed a droll retort nor failed to launch a zinger at his detested Nazi bosses. Your working Bernie's story line with the major corporate sponsors (Mercedes Benz) and über maniacs (Goebels) of WW II makes the novel blaze like kristallnacht. Thank you.
Not having listened to any of Philip Kerr's writing other than all of Bernie Gunther, I hesitate to do so. To me, Kerr is Bernie Gunther. In writers..Show More » terms he has to be a "method actor". This fictitious character that is insinuated into the most significant history of the 20th century is sheer genius. For all practical purposes, Bernie should not have lived to tell most of this story. Kerr brilliantly lets him live so that the story can continue. Most fictitious police/private detective protagonists would never have made it to 60 yrs of age. Having read all of La Carré's Smiley series, Bernie helps me to understand more about the world of intelligence that was more difficult for me to visualize through George Smiley, not to take anything away from La Carré on any level! My only complaint about Bernie is his voice change when not read by John Lee. There are reasons, I'm sure, in the literary world, why this happens, but it requires a major change in gears and imagination when it does. So my hesitancy to read more Kerr is that he and Bernie are heroes to me and Bernie Gunther is how I want to remember them both.
This time set on the south of France Bernie tangles with former Nazis and current spies. Yes there's a woman and deceit, tension and violence but a su..Show More »perb performance and masterly plotting ensures freshness and a gripping episode in this ongoing Bernie Gunther saga. Highly recommended.