Excerpt from A Quiet Flame by Philip Kerr, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Quiet Flame

By Philip Kerr

A Quiet Flame
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Mar 2009,
    400 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2010,
    416 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


“What’s in the bag?” he asked.

“Clothes. Toiletries. Some money.”

“Would you mind showing me?”

“No,” I said, minding very much. “I don’t mind at all.”

I heaved the bag onto a trestle table and was just about to unbuckle it when a man hurried up the ship’s gangway, shouting something in Spanish and then, in German, “It’s all right. I’m sorry I’m late. There’s no need for all this formality. There’s been a misunderstanding. Your papers are quite in order. I know because I prepared them myself.”

He said something else in Spanish about the three of us being important

visitors from Germany, and immediately the attitude of the two officials changed. Both men came to attention. The immigration clerk facing Eichmann handed him back his passport, clicked his heels, and then gave Europe’s most wanted man the Hitler salute with a loud “Heil Hitler” that everyone on deck must have heard.

Eichmann turned several shades of red and, like a giant tortoise, shrank a little into the collar of his coat, as if he wished he might disappear. Kuhlmann and I laughed out loud, enjoying Eichmann’s embarrassment and discomfort as he snatched back his passport and stormed down the gangway and onto the quay. We were still laughing as we joined Eichmann in the back of a big black American car with a sign, VIANORD, displayed in the windshield.

“I don’t think that was in the least bit funny,” said Eichmann.

“Sure you don’t,” I said. “That’s what makes it so funny.”

“You should have seen your face, Ricardo,” said Kuhlmann. “What on earth possessed him to say that, of all things? And to you, of all people?” Kuhlmann started to laugh again. “Heil Hitler, indeed.”

“I thought he made a pretty good job of it,” I said. “For an amateur.”

Our host, who had jumped into the driver’s seat, now turned around to shake our hands. “I’m sorry about that,” he told Eichmann. “Some of these officials are just pig-ignorant. In fact, the words we have for pig and public official are the same. Chanchos. We call them both chanchos. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that idiot believes Hitler is still the German leader.”

“God, I wish he was,” murmured Eichmann, rolling his eyes into the roof of the car. “How I wish he was.”

“My name is Horst Fuldner,” said our host. “But my friends in Argentina call me Carlos.”

“Small world,” I said. “That’s what my friends in Argentina call me. Both of them.”

Some people came down the gangway and peered inquisitively through the passenger window at Eichmann.

“Can we get away from here?” he asked. “Please.”

“Better do as he says, Carlos,” I said. “Before someone recognizes Ricardo here and telephones David Ben-Gurion.”

“You wouldn’t joke about that if you were in my shoes,” said Eichmann.

“The soaps would stop at nothing to kill me.”

Fuldner started the car and Eichmann relaxed visibly as we drove smoothly away.

“Since you mentioned the soaps,” said Fuldner, “it’s worth discussing what to do if any of you is recognized.”

“Nobody’s going to recognize me,” Kuhlmann said. “Besides, it’s the Canadians who want me, not the Jews.”

“All the same,” said Fuldner, “I’ll say it anyway. After the Spanish and the Italians, the soaps are the country’s largest ethnic group. Only we call them los rusos, on account of the fact that most of the ones who are here came to get away from the Russian czar’s pogrom.”

Excerpted from A Quiet Flame by Philip Kerr. Copyright © 2006 by Philip Kerr. Excerpted by permission of Putnam Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.