Self’s Murder by Bernard Schlink

selfReviewed by Julie Moderson

In Europe Bernhard Schlink is a well-known German author of detective novels of Gerhard Self a 70 something private investigator. Schlink is a German who likes to give history lessons in his writing which is so informative.

The book begins in a snowstorm as Gerhard Self is driving his girlfriend home and they see a car in the ditch and he offers to help. The man whose car is in the ditch is Bertram Welker who owns the oldest private bank. Welker meets with Self the following day and then hires him. He is hired to find a silent partner to the bank when it was first established many years ago. Self is given a briefcase full of money by a man who then crashes his car and dies. When Self learns that Welker’s wife died in an accident, he decides there are too many accidents surrounding Welker so he decides to investigate.

There are many twists and turns to this mystery and you are never sure who is the criminal and the reader might sometimes be confused by the detective’s name. Self is an interesting character that has lost his wife and now finds a young man claiming to be his son. The young man turns out to be the son of his deceased wife and another lover. Self does seem to bond with the child of his beloved wife and thinks briefly of turning him into a partner in his private investigator firm. Self follows the trail of money all over Europe. There are many surprises in store for the reader.

Leave a Reply