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The Other Side of Silence

(Bernie Gunther #11)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  3,804 ratings  ·  417 reviews

Bernie Gunther has done various jobs since the war. Now it's the 1950s and he's working in a hotel on the Cote D'Azur. It's winter, and the Riviera is empty and a little sad. In a bar one evening he bumps into Herr Leuthard, an acquaintance from the war, who offers him a most enticing job.

Leuthard owns the Grand Hotel du Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. It's the best hotel on the

Paperback, 341 pages
Published March 29th 2016 by Quercus
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Kevin Humphrey I would start at the beginning. The character's personality, circumstances, etc are set up well early. I think it's the Berlin Trilogy or something…moreI would start at the beginning. The character's personality, circumstances, etc are set up well early. I think it's the Berlin Trilogy or something close. (less)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  3,804 ratings  ·  417 reviews

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Start your review of The Other Side of Silence (Bernie Gunther, #11)
This is a cool thriller set in the French Riviera in the mid-50s which features writer Somerset Maugham as a victim of blackmail. Our sardonic, cynic hero (and closet romantic) is Bernie Gunther, whose exploits as a Berlin homicide detective and reluctant participant in various SS schemes during World War 2 are featured in previous entries in this series, is trying to live a quiet life as the concierge of a fancy hotel in Cap Ferrat, a peninsula between Nice and Monaco. Playing bridge is the ...more
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
So, that was the 11th Bernie Gunther! I do not read many thrillers, but will always read a Bernie Gunther. They are well researched, full of real historical persons and you get treated to truly witty wise-cracks, so what else would you wish for in a historical thriller.

Contrary to the other Bernie thrillers, which can move through the 1930th, '40th and halfway '50th in one story, it is the first one which had only one flashback to Bernie's life in Nazi Germany and in particular the timeframe
Tom Mathews
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: spy story lovers.
Readers who aren’t familiar with Bernie Gunther have missed out on a classically cynical detective living in a time and place where there is much to be cynical about. Those who have read Philip Kerr’s engaging series know that, if nothing else, Gunther has served as an engaging tour guide to life in Germany during the years that the Nazi party was in power.

In this eleventh book in the series, one war is over and another, colder war has begun. Kerr’s Berlin gumshoe is in hiding, changing his
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love books and there are many series that I follow, but I think that Bernie Gunther is possibly my favourite fictional character – so a new Gunther novel is a reading highlight for me. This is a series I have read, and re-read, a lot over the years and I am delighted to say that this is one of my favourite books so far.

As always, we jump around in Bernie’s life and, in this novel, it is 1956 and he is living on the French Riviera. Pushing sixty, working as a concierge at the Grand Hotel de
Alex Cantone
The French Riviera, 1956. Bernie Gunther, using the name and passport of Walter Wolf provided by Stasi boss Erich Mielke, is the concierge at the Grand Hôtel Cap Ferrat. Elisabeth, his third wife, has left him to return to Berlin, which deep down, he misses more than her.

I miss being a cop when the Berlin police still meant something good. But mostly I miss the people, who were as sour as I am. Even Germans don’t like Berliners, and it’s a feeling that’s usually reciprocated.

Now in his late
Judy Lesley
For readers who anxiously await each new installment in the Bernie Gunther series, grab some quiet time and just start reading this one, but have your seatbelt buckled because you are going on a corkscrew twisty ride. Readers new to the series can certainly begin here, I'm not going to tell you not to, but you need to understand that Bernie has a huge amount of backstory and this author loves to bring back characters from several books back and it might get a little confusing. In this story ...more
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Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From mid-October 2016 through to early January 2017 I read all eleven of the Bernie Gunther series - at least until April 2017 when the 12th instalment, 'Prussian Blue’, is due to be published.

An unpleasant blackmailer named Harold Heinz Hebel, who Bernie encountered back in 1938, and then during the winter of 1944/45, who we learn about in flashback, is the catalyst for another absorbing and surprising tale. The present day narrative takes place in 1956 with Bernie working at a hotel on the
May 20, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My 2 stars reflect the tedious experience I had reading the novel - but take them with a grain of salt. I am not a fan of noirish, hard-boiled, tough-guy, spy thrillers. So if this is a genre you enjoy, you may like "The Other Side of Silence." Plus, as a wise Goodreads friend commented, it doesn't make sense to start with #11 in a series: because I’ve missed “20 years of chronological character development, beginning in 1936-37, and thousands of pages of backstory progression."

The novel had
This is a brilliant, erudite and lucid thriller with a weary Gunther as Walter Wolf working as a hotel concierge in the South of France. This is the first book I have read of the series and it works as a standalone. We encounter Gunther trying to commit suicide but thankfully failing. His wife has left him to return home. Gunther finds himself helping W. Somerset Maugham, a writer and one time spy, who is being blackmailed by an old and loathed foe of Gunther, Harold Henning. He has a photograph ...more
I seem to be in the minority here but I can't get on with this book and have decided not to finish at 65% (so many books, too little time).
I like Bernie and find him funny and interesting but the story involves wayyyyy too many characters.
Set in a really interesting period/place and with plenty of spy shennanigans but it just descended into a list of who's who and who did what in the war that I became completely flumoxed...then bored.
Such a shame as all the elements are there for a book I would
Mar 20, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The weakest Bernie Gunther novel yet. The plot stretches credulity and the final third, with its hectic and disjointed resolution, seems forced. Perhaps it's time for Kerr to put ol' Bernie out to pasture?
Robert French
Previously I used to wait in anticipation for the next Bernie Gunther book by Philip Kerr. No longer. The Other Side of Silence is the 11th novel of Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther series. I was quite disappointed. The cynical attitude and dark wit is sadly weak or missing. In his earlier books, when Philip Kerr was writing about the horror of life under the Nazis, he excelled. But he has lost his touch. Having read, many years ago, the major novels and most of the short stories of W. Somerset ...more
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read all ten previous books in Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series, and this may well be the most brilliant and my favorite. The writing is topnotch, even better than usual, and the heavily ironic Berlin-style humor is hot and heavy coming out of Bernie's mouth.

If you've read all his previous misadventures, then you understand how he got so jaded and depressed. He has every right to feel that way. In fact, in the early pages of this book, he even recounts that he tried suicide. How he is
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book by Phillip Kerr so I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought that he did old time detective novels. However, this one was about former spies, German, English and Russian. For the most part, I enjoyed it. There were a few times when it sort of slowed down a little. I really enjoyed the ending. Throughout the whole book, you really didn't know who you could trust and that was definitely proven with the ending. I would read this author again.

I really liked the fact that the
PennsyLady (Bev)
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, giveaway
The Other Side Of Silence

We were cautioned on the book's cover not to race through
this story.
I didn't.
It was important to me because it was my first Bernie Gunther.
Yeh, I know, where have I been living?
I'm pleased to have been sent an ARC and very willing to express
my thoughts.
Bernie is a character that came to life on the pages.
His life is like a tapestry with inherent flaws fully exposed.
Among other things, I found him witty, cynical, sarcastic, satirical
and yet in some way lovable.
The plot
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every time I read a new Philip Kerr Bernie Gunther novel, I'm thinking 'this has to be the best one so far.'It happened again with The Other Side of Silence. Several times. I have a special place in my all time top books of all time by Philip Kerr, for Field Grey, and The Other Side of Silence is now going right up there with it. Along with...well, just about all of them let's be honest. It really is an idiotic idea to try and rank them, to try and say one is better than the other. Better ...more
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am in awe each time I finish one of these Bernie Gunther books, this one no exception. Though I read them out of order, it does not seem to spoil my enjoyment. That's the way they become available to me from my library.
This one has rather a lot of material on the art of blackmail. "Now I've heard everything. Blackmailers recommending detectives. Or ex-detectives. It sounds an awful lot like a salmon recommending a good poacher." I enjoyed the descriptions and "Bernie history" pertaining to
Thelma Adams
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther novels like pizza -- the best and the worst pizza are still pizza, my favorite food. I have now read all eleven novels -- and I think you have to read them in order -- and "The Other Side of Silence" is one of the better. Set in the Riviera and Germany both before and after WWII, the subject is blackmail and the addition is the fictional characterization of the famed English gay novelist and spy Somerset Maugham. The Painted Veil"The Painted Veil" is one of my ...more
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thrillers
The Other Side of Silence – Philip Kerr at his best

The publication of Philip Kerr’s, Bernie Gunther thriller, The Other Side of Silence, once again shows why is a master of historical fiction. How he is able to weave the factual into fiction, and still make it seem as if it really did happen, with the characters in the novel in real life.

Gunther is working as a concierge in a French Hotel on the Rivera in 1956, he was trying to keep his head down, and working under an assumed name, Walter Wolff.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There’s always been a touch of Philip Marlowe to Philip Kerr’s, Bernie Gunther. After all, are there really any meaner streets for some men to walk down than Nazi Berlin? They’re both world-weary cynics with a good eye for the simile. That comparison is really played on by the setting of ‘The Other Side of Silence’. The idle rich of the post-war French Riviera are not far removed from the idle rich of Beverly Hills, except when Marlowe walks up the long driveway of a mansion he finds General ...more
John Frankham
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
The eleventh and current Bernie Gunther crime/spy novel. Based in 1956. This is my first, and I was astonished at the quality of this work. Think of a combination of Le Carre and Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe.

Brilliant plotting, character, and dialogue. I wish I had started at number 1, based before WWII - I will now!

"The war is over. Bernie Gunther, our sardonic former Berlin homicide detective and unwilling SS officer, is now living on the French Riviera. It is 1956 and Bernie is the go-to
Larry Deaton
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The latest book in Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther series may indeed be his best yet.

Gunther is working as a concierge on the French Riviera, when he gets involved with helping Somerset Maugham deal with a blackmailer, a blackmailer whom Gunther had encountered in his earlier days in Nazi Germany. There are also British traitors to deal with (Roger Hollis, Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt, who were associates of Kim Philby.)

Kerr weaves this story of life on the decadent Riviera, which only takes a
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Gunther's existence in 1956 seems to have settled into an empty, but sustainable routine. Working as a concierge in an upmarket French Riviera hotel, his discretion - highly developed to keep quiet his exploits under the Nazi regime - is a positive asset. His world is thrown back into turmoil by the arrival of a notorious Nazi blackmailer, who recognises Gunther and inveigles him into a plot to extort money from the wealthy author W. Somerset Maugham who lives nearby, where privacy for an ...more
Ken Fredette
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read all of Phillip Kerr's books and was not disappointed in this one. Bernie Gunther doesn't disappoint he always comes out on top, but usually there is a woman involved that some how goes south. This book was manly about blackmail and it involved helping Somerset Maugham get rid of the blackmailer. In reality it was Bernie who made everything happen in this story. It was interesting and kept me awake until I was done.
Nothing much happens until the last 130 pages of the book. Only the last 45 pages actually have a plot more interesting than the Home Shopping Channel.

It's as if Philip Kerr turned into a bad Alan Furst, then suddenly switched back to writing detective stories. More simply, it's called "padding."
Mal Warwick
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Other Side of Silence is the 11th novel in Philip Kerr‘s bestselling series of detective stories featuring Bernie Gunther. (A 12th is forthcoming as I write.) However, unlike the books that precede it in the series, this suspenseful and well-crafted tale is primarily a post-war spy story. MI6, the East German Stasi, and the Soviet NKVD are all involved. For the most part, the previous 10 books have centered on crimes committed in Nazi Germany during the 1930s and in Nazi-occupied territory ...more
Robert Ronsson
I'm a Bernie Gunther fan. So much so that (with Philip Kerr's permission) I gave Bernie a walk-on role in my second novel Out of Such Darkness. Bernie's reputation is undiminished by this outing but I'm afraid Mr Kerr's has not emerged unscathed.
Bernie has never been a true action hero. He's far too cynical to rampage through an adventure controlling the events around him. He's always been the sort of guy to whom unpleasant things happen and he has to deal with them. His sharp intellect and
Elaine Tomasso
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Netgalley and Quercus for an advance copy of The Other Side of Silence, the 11th outing for Bernie Gunther, set on the French Riviera in 1956.
Bernie is hiding out in Cap Ferrat under the name of Walter Wolf and working as a hotel concierge. He works by day and plays bridge twice a week and that is the sum total of his interesting life now that his wife has left him. This changes when W. Somerset Maugham asks him to be his go-between in a case of blackmail. The situation
Sam Reaves
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another entry in Philip Kerr's terrific Bernie Gunther series, which charts the perilous trajectory of a jaded, wisecracking ex-Berlin cop through the ghastly middle decades of the twentieth century. The series started out as a trilogy of PI novels with a great gimmick: a Marlowe-type world-weary private eye operating in nineteen thirties Berlin. Then Kerr apparently realized that following Bernie Gunther all the way through the Second World War and out the other end would give him a ...more
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Philip Kerr was a British author. He was best known for his Bernie Gunther series of 13 historical thrillers and a children's series, Children of the Lamp, under the name P.B. Kerr.

Librarian’s note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Other books in the series

Bernie Gunther (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • March Violets (Bernie Gunther, #1)
  • The Pale Criminal (Bernie Gunther, #2)
  • A German Requiem (Bernie Gunther, #3)
  • The One from the Other (Bernard Gunther, #4)
  • A Quiet Flame (Bernie Gunther, #5)
  • If The Dead Rise Not (Bernard Gunther, #6)
  • Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7)
  • Prague Fatale (Bernard Gunther, #8)
  • A Man Without Breath (Bernie Gunther #9)
  • The Lady from Zagreb (Bernard Gunther, #10)
“Winter came early that year. Snow filled the gray December air like fragments of torn-up hope” 5 likes
“thought that was the whole idea of the German Reformation. To abolish priestly intercession.” 1 likes
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