Argentina, 1950: Bernie Gunther arrives in Buenos Aires only to be caught up in the hunt for a killer. A young girl has been murdered in circumstances that strongly resemble those of Bernie's final case as a Berlin homicide detective, a case he didn't solve.
The local chief of police is convinced that the killer is to be found among the several thousand ex-Nazis who have come to Argentina since 1945. So who better than Bernie Gunther to help track him down?
At the start of Kerr's stellar fifth Bernie Gunther novel (after The One from the Other), the former Berlin homicide detective seeks exile in Argentina in 1950, along with others connected to the Nazi past (one of his fellow ship passengers is Adolf Eichmann). A few weeks after Gunther arrives in Buenos Aires, a local policeman, Colonel Montalb n, asks his help in solving the savage murder of 15-year-old Grete Wohlauf. Montalb n has noticed similarities between this crime and two unsolved murders Gunther investigated in 1932 Germany. Another teenage girl's disappearance heightens the urgency of the inquiry. In exchange for free medical treatment for his just diagnosed thyroid cancer, Gunther agrees to subtly grill members of the large German community. A secret he stumbles on soon places his life in jeopardy. Kerr, who's demonstrated his versatility with high-quality entries in other genres, cleverly and plausibly grafts history onto a fast-paced thriller plot.