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A Quiet Flame (Bernard Gunther #5)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  2,453 ratings  ·  244 reviews
Philip Kerr returns with his best-loved character, Bernie Gunther, in the fifth novel in what is now a series: a tight, twisting, compelling thriller that is firmly rooted in history.

A Quiet Flame opens in 1950. Falsely fingered a war criminal, Bernie Gunther has booked passage to Buenos Aires, lured, like the Nazis whose company he has always despised, by promises of a n
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 19th 2009 by A Marian Wood Book/Putnam (first published 2008)
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Book 5: Bernie Gunther Goes To Argentina (and meets the rich and infamous along the way)

So Bernie's fifth outing followed quickly on the heels of the very excellent return to form of The One from the Other and ended up being the worst of the lot (so far.) This was a direct sequel to the fourth book, the only time that elapsed was the journey across the Atlantic, with Bernie arriving in Buenos Aires alongside his bunk mate Nazi War Criminal Eichmann in the opening chapter. This time he is investi
Aug 24, 2014 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who love Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett
Recommended to Mike by: Goodreads Group Pulp Fiction Who introduced me to Bernie Gunther in the Berlin Noir Trilogy
A Quiet Flame: Memories Die Hard

 photo QuietFlame_zpsb7de4ebb.jpg

First Edition, Quercus, London, UK, 2008

"All Germans carry an image of Adolph Hitler inside them," I said. "Even ones like me, who hated Hitler and everything he stood for. This face with its tousled hair and postage-stamp mustache haunts us all now and forevermore and, like a quiet flame that can never be extinguished, burns itself into our souls. The Nazis used to talk of a thousand -year empire. But sometimes I think that because of what we did, the name of G
I got this as a giveaway and I'm glad I did because how did Philip Kerr slip under my thriller radar?
Our protagonist here is a private detective by the name of Bernie Gunther, an ex-cop with a wise-cracking, sarcastic sense of humor. It took a little while but once I saw what his personality was like I got more into the book.
An old case from Berlin turns around and bites Bernie in the ass years later in Argentina. The story was interesting and well-written with believable twists and set at a goo
Aug 02, 2014 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Bernie Gunther
Another tale of Bernie Gunther and as it happens it seems I am reading the series backwards, which does not matter to much as the books can be read in any sequence and are easy to pick up and read as stand alone.

Bernie Gunther arrives in Argentina of the Perones after having escaped Europe with the help of ODESSA, the organisation aimed at helping Nazis escape Europe after the war. As always mr. Kerr does write about some episodes in and around the WWII that are interesting and not all that well
Brad Lyerla
I don't read Bernie Gunther novels for any purpose other than to have fun. But A QUIET FLAME introduced me to a new subject, the persecution of Jews by the Peronist government of Argentina. It is a sobering subject, which remains controversial and incompletely documented to this day.

In A QUIET FLAME, Bernie has escaped to Argentina to avoid prosecution for his activities as an SS officer during the war. While in Argentina, he is drafted by the local authorities to investigate the disappearance
Donald Luther
When I was a kid, I read a number of book series, as did, I suspect, a lot of pre-adolescents then. I read through the 'Tom Corbett, Space Cadet' series (no relation to aptly described Governor of my former home of Pennsylvania), which my brother seemed to enjoy much more than I did; and I went through 'Rick Brandt', as well. This one I thoroughly enjoyed. It was a kind of techno-mystery series of kids.

Now I'm almost through the Bernhard Gunther series (one title left) and I'm genuinely pleased
Philip Kerr is my guilty pleasure. As much as I deplore the reliance on World War II for literary inspiration, I usually have a Philip Kerr Bernie Gunther novel open on my e-reader as a respite from heavier literary fiction. .With this novel, however, Kerr seems to have succumbed to what I have termed the "Quincy Syndrome." "Quincy M. E." was a television series (1976-83) about a medical examiner who investigated deaths that usually involved murder. As the series went on, Quincy's monologues on ...more
Anirban Das
Some books are never meant to be happy. Although in a Crime novel the outcome, most of the time, provides a solution to a crime, and brings a criminal to justice, but often it also leaves the reader with sadness. Either connected to a character, or to the general atmosphere created by the book. A QUIET FLAME by Phillip Kerr left me sad, and on both the counts of character and atmosphere. The book dealt with a theme which was dark from the very beginning. A case involving disappearance of missing ...more
Perhaps the weakest Bernie Gunther mystery to date. The flashback style felt especially forced, for some reason. A few good lines, but once again, the web that ensnares Bernie just seems far too convoluted. Maybe I'm just not subtle enough, but the long range goal seems so unlikely in hindsight that it bugs me.

In this one, Bernie has just got off the boat in Argentina, where he was bound at the end of the previous book. He meets the Perons, both Evita and Juan, gets involved in counter spying on
Mark O'Neill
I just LOVE Philip Kerr's books! I love Bernie Gunther, I love Kerr's dry wit, his observations on life, his plots, his sub-plots, his other characters, and the endless witty comments. Whenever the story starts, you get sucked in like a vacuum cleaner and you are swept along, powerless to fight back. I don't normally pay full price for a book but with Kerr, I lose the will to argue with myself - it's pointless. My wallet falls out my pocket and I am paying for the book before I know what is happ ...more
Steve Betz
This book is the latest installment of Kerr's German detective, Bernie Gunther. The Gunther stories began with Kerr’s excellent “Berlin Noir” – which is a collection of three mystery stories set at different points in Bernie’s life (starting from the early 1930s and going through the end of WWII). Now, as a German trying to make his way through the Third Reich, Bernie’s got some tough choices to make – and they're not always good ones. He’s a wise-cracking former policeman who’s fond of booze an ...more
Rowland Bismark
A Quiet Flame begins with Bernie Gunther -- familiar from the excellent Berlin Noir-trilogy, as well as The One from the Other -- arriving in Argentina in 1950, smuggled out (along with Adolf Eichmann) by the Nazi-resettlement service, ODESSA. His cover is that he is a doctor, but he spills the beans early on, admitting to Juan Perón (whom he meets shortly after his arrival) that he was, in fact, a cop and detective. His reputation precedes him, and he is immediately lured to work for the secret ...more
This series is about Bernie Gunther, a cop in 1930s-40's Berlin who was never a Nazi, always doing what he could from the inside to thwart their efforts. This 5th book is set in Buenos Aires, in 1950, when Evita Peron and her husband gave safe haven, and new identities, to between 5,000 and 8,000 Nazi war criminals, including Goebbels, Himmler, and Mengele (the guy doing medical experiments at Auschwitz.

(In an earlier book, Bernie quit the force and has become a private investigator.)

From a Wal
A Quiet Flame, the sequel to The One from the Ohter finds hard-boiled German detective Bernie Gunther in postwar Argentina, where he's fled because of a case of mistaken identity. He's asked to investigate the murder of a young girl which appears suspiciously similar to a killing that Bernie once investigated in Berlin in 1932. In the course of his investigation, Bernie discovers that life in Argentina isn't as carefree as he's assumed.

In alternating chapters set in Buenos Aires in 1950 and Berl
Nov 28, 2008 Sarah rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: German-o-philes, lovers of film noir, crime fans
I hate to say it but Philip Kerr has lost his touch. His trilogy "Berlin Noir" stood out for it Raymond Chandler-esque prose. It was tough, hard boiled, and super interesting becaues of the peak behind the scenes setting of Nazi era Germany. But this latest one... I don't know what to say. Its as if he read this fascinating book on Nazis in Argentina and tried to put a mystery into it but really just wanted to tell us what he had researched. There was no tension, no snap, no cynical hard boiled ...more
Setting fictional detective Bernie Gunther as a cat amoung Nazi war-criminal pigeons in South America was a great way to explore this relatively unknown part of history...

I have previously read the Berlin Noir Trilogy with Berlin detective Bernie Gunther, who is a traditionally irreverent gumshoe who finds his career eroded by the lawless brutality of the Nazis. The trilogy started out strong, but I thought diminished by the third book.

A Quiet Flame is book number 5 and takes place after the wa
Pierre Fortier
Je viens de découvrir un auteur qui cadre exactement dans le type de lecture de divertissement que j'appréhende. Vif, drôle, cynique, truffé de comparaisons particulièrement originales et de sourires en coin. Faut le faire dans un contexte de 2ème guerre mondiale, d'antisémitisme, de pédophilie, d'avortements et de meurtres. Kerr installe son roman sur deux tableaux. Celui de Berlin 1932 avant l'élection d'Hitler, mais pendant la montée d'extrême droite en Allemagne. Celui de Buenos Aires 1950 t ...more
Frank McAdam
Not bad, but unfortunately not nearly as good as the excellent Berlin Noir series. The ersatz Raymond Chandler dialog has begun to wear thin and in the end sounds more tired than tough. And the similes are increasingly forced (e.g., "His face was all sharp angles, thin and pointed, like something Pythagoras had doodled on the corner of his scroll before getting on with his theorem."). The labyrinthine plot, constantly switching back and forth from 1932 Germany to 1950 Argentina, is too complicat ...more
I was reading the Bernie Gunther series by the year the books are set in, and then Philip Kerr messed up my attempted timeline with two books that sneakily combined prewar and postwar plots. First, "The One From the Other" (book #4 in the series) turned out to have an intro section set in 1937, while the most part of the book is set in 1949 (of course, these two turn out to have a connection). Then, “A Quiet Flame” (#5) turned out to switch between a 1932 Berlin murder story and a later, dark, i ...more
In my opinion, this is the best of Kerr's Gunther series, at least of what I have read so far. It's well plotted and tense. The use of flashbacks is effective and serves to enhance the narrative. I'm even willing to take it easy on Kerr's continually frustrating use of coincidence to grease his plots. A very good read.
Adam Weinert
Oct 23, 2014 Adam Weinert rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crime Fiction, mystery & history fans.
Shelves: fiction, mystery
As an avid reader, I get immense satisfaction (and a little sad) at finishing a great book. I didn't get that feeling when I finished A Quiet Flame, because such a feeling is impossible knowing that much of the "fiction" in Phillip Kerr's excellent Bernie Gunther series is actually true.

The story stretches from pre-war Germany to 1950 Buenos Aires, where is seems that the horrors of Nazi Germany would never end. I can never digest large portions of Kerr's books, they're just too heavy for large
John Marr
The Bernie Gunther books just keep getting better. This time out, Bernie cavorts with all his old wartime comrades now relocated to Argentina. Evita indeed--poor Bernie is to busy sticking his nose into the worng placed he doesn't even have time to learn the tango!
Sam Reaves
What did all those Nazis get up to in Peron's Argentina after the war, anyway? Kerr tells us in this installment in the Bernie Gunther saga. I once had an argument with a friend who denied that Peron was a fascist; I think Kerr would side with me.
Mary Warnement
"All Germans carry an image of Adolf Hitler inside them...Even the ones like me, who hated Hitler and everything he stood for. This face with its tousled hair and postage-stamp mustache haunts us all now and forevermore and, like a quiet flame that can never be extinguished, burns itself into our souls. The Nazis used to talk of a thousand-year empire. But sometimes I think that because of what we did, the name of Germany and the Germans will live in infamy for a thousand years. That it will tak ...more
Took me a long time to complete this book, as I read on my Kindle primarily at lunch time at work. Recently have been more distracted during lunch, just taking small bites of the book and that may have led somewhat to the lesser enjoyment in this series that has always been something to look forward to for me. Also, I had previously listened to the audio versions of the book, but that wasn't available at the library.

But also thrown into the mix are the fact that Bernie Gunther is no longer in Be
So, this is the 4th or 5th Bernie Gunther novel I've read by Philip Kerr. And to be frank, this book was just too much. I kind of blanched when Bernie met Heydrich, Goering and other Nazi leaders in the other books b/c it seemed so far-fetched. But I like European early 20th century history--German in particular--and Bernie was a new character for me, so I kept reading and enjoyed the books for the most part.

But this book was just so...opportunistically implausible. I know, that's fiction. But
Mysteries are a genre I've not read previously, until I discovered the Bernie Gunther series. These books I am reading, one after the other, the same way as I've seen every episode of Hawaii Five O (the original version).

A long time ago, when I was about 4th grade, the library had the entire series of Willard Price books. All were adventure stories, many about the Pacific. I read them all.

Much later, on a plane from Cornwall to London, a fellow passenger told me about the Poldark series, by Wins
Reseña del blog IKari

Ya se que este libro es parte de una saga, pero a pesar de que yo no me leí los primeros cuatro libros, no creo que sea necesario leerse uno para leerse otro, ya que no es de ese tipo de saga con cliffhangers.

El libro comienza con Bernie Gunther, y algunos camaradas, arribando a Buenos Aires después de haber escapado de Alemania por que lo habían confundido con un criminal de guerra nazi. Cuando llega finalmente a Argentina, el presidente (Perón) lo manda a llamar y al final
Robert French
A Quiet Flame is the fifth book in Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series. Usually I end up skipping around, but for once I am reading a series in order. I liked it (i.e, the three star rating) but did nor "really like it". The novel moves back and forth between Berlin in 1932 just prior to the Reichstag fire and the rise of Hitler to power and Argentina in 1950 the time of Juan Peron and Evita Peron. Initially I became quite depressed reading the novel as Kerr described life in the Weimer Republic ...more
Toni Osborne
Book 5 in the Bernard Gunther series

This fiction examines Directive 11, a secret order issued in 1938 that bared Jews from entering Argentina and the consequences that derived from it. It also explored the rumour and the strong possibility that a concentration camp existed in a remote part of the country. At the time thousands of Argentina's Jewish citizens had simply disappeared, never to be seen again. Coincidently, in later years, Argentina became a safe haven for Nazis in hiding.

" A Quiet F
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Kerr has published eleven novels under his full name and a children's series, Children of the Lamp, under the name P.B. Kerr.

More about Philip Kerr...

Other Books in the Series

Bernard Gunther (10 books)
  • March Violets
  • The Pale Criminal (Bernard Gunther, #2)
  • A German Requiem (Bernard Gunther, #3)
  • The One from the Other (Bernard Gunther, #4)
  • If The Dead Rise Not (Bernard Gunther, #6)
  • Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7)
  • Prague Fatale (Bernard Gunther, #8)
  • A Man Without Breath (Bernard Gunther, #9)
  • The Lady from Zagreb (Bernard Gunther, #10)
Berlin Noir: March Violets / The Pale Criminal / A German Requiem March Violets The One from the Other (Bernard Gunther, #4) Prague Fatale (Bernard Gunther, #8) Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7)

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“All men come to resemble their fathers. That isn’t a tragedy, but you need a hell of a sense of humour to handle it.” 2 likes
“truth is rarely the truth and the things you thought weren’t true often turn out not to be false.” 1 likes
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