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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 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.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Kerr is a wonder - the Bernie Gunther books are in an entirely different league; literate, stylish, historically intriguing. Skip M. Connelly and J.L. Burke - this is the best you will find. I only wish Audible would get around to adding in the "The Quiet Flame" (not to mention all of Jim Thompson's work).
7 of 7 people found this review helpful