45 The Scarred Woman A Department Q Thriller by Jussi Adler Olsen This is the seventh book in the Department Q series but the fifth book I have read. Damn you public library system. Department Q become involved in a case that revolves around a fractured family with a dark Nazi past, a coworker who psychosis gets the better of her throw in three tarts and a demented nobody who works for social security and you have a novel which steps away from the previous books of the series by fixing the narrative firmly in the present while linked to family and social antecedents. It did drag on at times but the over arching narrative sustained the action both across time and circumstance. However I did have one point where I disagreed with the author in terms of the fate of one character. Otherwise I’d recommend the series for lovers of Scandi Noir. 46 The Other Side of Silence by Phillip Kerr Bernie Gunther is back if you want the epitome of a post Chandler 50’s Noir detective who could resist Bernie. Sangfroid mixed with a healthy does of post Berlin Nazi horror and cool composure this series is worth the read. Bernie is still, after the last book, playing bridge on the French Rivera. When the vile presence of a former SS foe enters and attempts to blackmail Somerset Maugham and MI5 via incriminating photographs and bit more of Guy Burgess. Never mind there is both squeeze for Bernie and a murderous femme fatale. The narrative moves at pace and what is not to like with dialogue along the lines of “its just too awful to be blackmailed by a chap who goes to the same shoemaker as oneself.” What’s not to like? Solid historical fiction with all the right ingredients to provide an entertaining quality read.