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Self's Deception (Gerhard Selb #2)

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  230 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Gerhard Self, the dour private detective, returns in this riveting crime novel about terrorism, governmental cover-up, and the treacherous waters where they mix.

Leo Salger, the daughter of a powerful Bonn bureaucrat, is missing, and Self has been hired to find her. His investigation initially leads him to a psych ward at a local hospital, where he is made to believe that L
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by Vintage (first published 1992)
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I like Schlink's style and how he uses the device of the detective to delve into Germany's complex past (and present psyche). Here our aging detective, named Gerhard Self, stumbles upon a plot involving aging 60s radicals, a coverup of an "action" by police and the Americans who want to hide the existence of poison gas reserves on parkland, left over from two World Wars. I read this on my iPhone in bite-sized snacks, my third. It take a strong plot to withstand the constant page turning and long ...more
Gerhard Self is a complex character, having worked in the Nazi government and now become a private detective in modern day Germany. The mystery of the missing daughter is a multithreaded trail that moves at a good pace but in the end it lacked a certain something and had too much womanising for me to be interested in another volume of the series.
Mark O'Neill
I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by how good this book was. It started off a bit rocky and I was wondering if I had made an impulse buy that I would regret. But I persisted with it and in time, I found I was really enjoying the story and I couldn't put it down anymore![return][return]The story is set in the late 1980's / early 1990's (I found myself looking for clues as to the time period but I couldn't pin it down exactly. Bush Snr is the US president and it sounds like East Germany i ...more
Schlink, Bernard. SELF’S DECEPTION. (1992; US 2007). ****. The author of “The Reader” is also well-known as a writer of crime/thriller novels featuring his series character Gerhard Self. Self is a late-sixtyish private detective who has all the characteristics of an older man who has seen it all already. This is a novel about terrorism, governmental cover-up, and the dark places where they all come together. In this story, Leo Salger, the daughter of a powerful Bonn bureaucrat, is missing, and S ...more
Johann Guenther
SCHLINK, Bernhard: „Selbs Betrug“, Zürich 1994
Und wieder ein Kriminalroman. Dabei mag ich Krimis nicht. Es ist aber flüssig und angenehm zu lesen. Zerstreut. Leitet an nicht abzubrechen. So ist es ein angenehmes Lesen. Eine sehr gute Zerstreuung. Der Privatdetektiv Selb sucht diesmal ein Mädchen. Er bekommt einen Auftrag und eine hohe Anzahlung vom angeblichen Vater, der sich nach ersten Ermittlung klar als Nicht-Vater herausstellt. Letztendlich wird er vom Ermittler zum Beteiligten. Er versucht
Unwilling investigators are not very common in crime fiction, as far as I can tell, but Schlink offers one example of the type. His Self's Deception is the story of one man's principled search for a missing girl, although he suspects that his generous patron has reasons other than familial concerns to locate her. Gerhard Self is a one-time Nazi prosecutor; now he is a middle-aged man struggling to decide whether or not to marry his younger girlfriend. He is an introspective man of principle, ver ...more
A Quiet Little Mystery

Schlink, B. (2007). Self’s Deception. New York: Vintage/Black Lizard. (Translated from the German by Peter Constantine).

It’s been a long time since I’ve been in Heidelberg, and I enjoyed this book’s descriptions of life along the Neckar. Gerhard Self is a PI hired by phone to track down the missing daughter of a Bonn diplomat. He smells something fishy since the client won’t meet him in person, but since the client pays very generously in cash, Self takes the case. He finds
I found this while looking for some German mystery fiction. It wasn't very good. Perhaps it lost something in translation but reading it was hard going: the writing was stodgy and the characters unusual but unappealing. Originally published in 1992, it's the second story featuring Gerhard Self, a 69 year old private investigator. Self is hired by a government official to find his missing daughter. The trail leads Self to a psychiatric hospital and a couple of odd doctors.

The title gives away at
I found Self gray, dull and utterly unappealing as either hero or villain and the plot was too convoluted by half. Quit after 80 pages.
Der Fall war mir irgendwie nicht so wichtig. Aber als Hörbuch von Hans Korte gelesen hat das Buch eine tolle Atmosphäre. Passt sehr gut zu Schlinks Art zu schreiben, die ich auch sehr mag...
Alaina Cyr
not sure if maybe something was lost in translation on this one. not a bad plot, but the storytelling wasn't particularly captivating. I also found it difficult to keep track of the characters, but that could just be me.
Feb 23, 2014 Timbo marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
English edition
Feb 23, 2014 Timbo marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
German edition
Jun 08, 2014 Timbo marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Dennis Osborne
I found this difficult to follow
Anian Christoph
Easy, classy, and very "continental" in a good way: Intelligent, smart and humorous detective story with a great, flawed yet not unattractive protagonist. The smarmy "dirty old man" - elements betray postwar German morality (or lack thereof) but are under-reflected and not dealt with elegantly enough to make that part of it a good read. It grates a little but does not offend.

If you live in / know the area of Heidelberg and Mannheim, it is particularly fun to read. Otherwise, 3.5 stars.
This is the middle mystery and now I've finished the series of three. Didn't enjoy this one as much as the other two- maybe because I know there are no more left to read? It started off well but the plot sort of lost me in the last 50 pages. Self is an interesting character with no illusions. In this one he helps a known terrorist escape the police and naturally the terrorist is a woman. Again he is hired by a person with an ulterior motive.
Imagine an older Philip Marlow with a Nazi past, occasionally a bit slower on the uptake, but with good taste in food and women, and you get Gerhard Self, the protagonist of Schlinck's crime series, a man whom you get to like more as you spend more time in his head. Schlink writes beautifully and credibly, oh, if only had I not guessed who the culprit was almost immediately after his first appearance...
I thoroughly enjoyed the Reader by Bernard Schlink. This was mainly due to the style of his writing rather than the storyline - although that was good too. I picked up Self's Deception thinking I would enjoy the same style of writing in a detective novel. Overall I concluded that I am not a 'who dunnit' fan. If you are - you may enjoy this book.
schlink ist einfach meisterhaft und schreibt sehr präzises, deutliches und manchmal sehr sarkatisches deutsch, das, wie schon gesagt, einfach meisterhaft ,erstrangig und vortrefflich ist. das ist mein drittes buch von schlink, das ich gelesen habe, und ich habe schon das nächste buch von ihm bestellt.
Not bad - started off interesting and suspenseful but then all the German names and strasses got confusing and I lost track of the mystery. Still, I like the style of writing and the descriptions of nature/Alps and cafe life were refreshing
Selb ist ein alter Mann. Er bekommt ein neuen Fall. Er soll eine Tochter für jemanden finden. Aber nach er sie gefunden hat, lernt er dass sie nicht die Tochter ist. Der Mann hat gelügt. Und der Fall hat etwas mit Senfgas zu tun.
Willem van der Scheun
A reasonably good read. The plot isn't very interesting once Gerhard Selb finds his target, but the main characters and their interaction, plus the grumpy old man Gerhard Selb made it worthwhile to read.
This was very good, but a little grimmer than "Self's Punishment." I enjoy the main character and his process for solving the mystery, but this ended on an awkward (for the character) note.
Very well-written and enjoyable to read; Self is a great character. Howerver, the "mystery" was confusing and rather disappointing.
As I love crime stories I really liked this one.
The end was a bit strange but other than that it was a good read.
This story was interesting but not completely satisfying. It felt as if the parts did not add up to a whole.
Tried to bring in psychological undertones which quite hit the mark for me. Jerky story telling at points.
A charming mystery. Very different from The Reader, but enjoyable in its own way.
Nicht so gut wie der erste Band, aber trotzdem spannend und unterhaltsam!
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Bernhard Schlink is a German jurist and writer. He became a judge at the Constitutional Court of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1988 and has been a professor of public law and the philosophy of law at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany since January 2006.

His career as a writer began with several detective novels with a main character named Selb--a play on the German word for "sel
More about Bernhard Schlink...

Other Books in the Series

Gerhard Selb (3 books)
  • Self's Punishment (Gerhard Self #1)
  • Selbs Mord (Selb, #3)
The Reader Homecoming Flights of Love : Stories Das Wochenende Sommerlügen

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