Synopses & Reviews
Philip Kerr delivers a novel with the noir sensibility of Raymond Chandler, the realpolitik of vintage John le Carré, and the dark moral vision of Graham Greene.
"Bernie Gunther is the most antiheroic of antiheroes in this gripping, offbeat thriller. It's the story of his struggle to preserve what's left of his humanity, and his life, in a world where the moral bandwidth is narrow, satanic evil at one end, cynical expediency at the other."
-Philip Caputo, author of A Rumor of War
"A thriller that will challenge preconceptions and stimulate the little grey cells."
-The Times (London), selecting Field Gray as a Thriller of the Year
"Part of the allure of these novels is that Bernie is such an interesting creation, a Chandleresque knight errant caught in insane historical surroundings. Bernie walks down streets so mean that nobody can stay alive and remain truly clean."
-John Powers, Fresh Air (NPR)
Bernie on Bernie: I didn't like Bernhard Gunther very much. He was cynical and world-weary and hardly had a good word to say about anyone, least of all himself. He'd had a pretty tough war . . . and done quite a few things of which he wasn't proud. . . . It had been no picnic for him since then either; it didn't seem to matter where he spread life's tartan rug, there was always a turd on the grass.
Striding across Europe through the killing fields of three decades-from riot-torn Berlin in 1931 to Adenauer's Germany in 1954, awash in duplicitous "allies" busily undermining one another-Field Gray reveals a world based on expediency, where the ends justify the means and no one can be trusted. It brings us a hero who is sardonic, tough- talking, and cynical, but who does have a rough sense of humor and a rougher sense of right and wrong. He's Bernie Gunther. He drinks too much and smokes excessively and is somewhat overweight (but a Russian prisoner-of-war camp will take care of those bad habits). He's Bernie Gunther-a brave man, because when there is nothing left to lose, honor rules.
"Bernie Gunther's past catches up with him in Kerr's outstanding seventh novel featuring the tough anti-Nazi Berlin PI who survived the Nazi regime (after If the Dead Rise Not). In 1954, Bernie is living quietly in Cuba, doing a little work for underworld boss Meyer Lansky, when he runs afoul of the U.S. Navy and lands in prison in GuantÃ¡namo. Later, at an army prison in New York City, FBI agents ask him about his service in WWII, in particular as a member of an SS police battalion on the Eastern Front. Another transfer sends him to Germany's Landsberg Prison, where Hitler was imprisoned in 1923. Officials from various governments question and torture him, but grimly amusing Bernie, who's smarter than any of his interrogators, successfully strings each one of them along. Vivid flashbacks chronicle Bernie's harrowing war experiences. Series aficionados and new readers alike will take comfort knowing that Kerr is hard at work on the next installment. Author tour. (Apr.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWxyz LLC)
Praise for Philip Kerr
PRAYER “Kerr has an unteachable gift for suspense.” — USA Today
“Tantalizingly creepy.” — The Observer “Here moral complexity is raised to a new high in a contemporary psychological thriller that is eerily terrifying and disturbing”
— Library Journal, starred review
“A real page-turner that may just have everyone rethinking the monumental power that faith can provide or…take away in the blink of an eye.” —Suspense Magazine
“Provocative... Evocative phrasing is another plus in this exceptional thriller.” —Publishers Weekly
“A compelling and unsettling change of pace for the popular Kerr.”
“A fright-filled meditation on faith…The book entertains and makes you think.” —Dallas Morning News
“Prayer brilliantly explores the world of God, guns and the nature of goodness without sacrificing suspense or story.”
— Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A rum beast that uses the cosy familiarity of the thriller form to buttress a fantastical supernatural plot...As fans of his Berlin-set Bernie Gunther novels will know, Kerr is a details man. His deep-level research brings Houston and its environs to dusty, sun-bleached life. Martins narration, too, is deftly handled -Prayer demands to be read more than once.” —The Guardian
“When Kerr goes off-piste, as he does here, the freedom sends his imagination into some very peculiar places. Who else could make a crackling thriller out of the current debate between religion and atheism?...What if the Almighty exists, but is horrible? The story unfolds at a white-knuckle pace, with a sense of the unknown that is genuinely disturbing.” — The Sunday Times
Praise for The Lady From Zagreb
“Kerr does moral ambiguity better than most . . . For setting, character, plot—and the ability to navigate a moral swamp—le Carré has a rival in Kerr.”—Booklist
Praise for Philip Kerr
“Kerr is the only bona fide heir to Raymond Chandler.” —Jonathan Ames, Salon
“Bernie isnt one of those detectives who gets to solve crimes and put things right. Instead, he just tries to behave decently in a world where the serial killers run the governments and history itself may be the biggest crime of all.” —John Powers, NPRs “Fresh Air”
“On any continent, in any decade, no one does melancholy better than Bernie Gunther, and melancholy, after all, is the hard-boiled mystery fans emotion of choice.” —Booklist
This The New York Times bestseller will make the Bernie Gunther series the new gold standard in thrillers.
Bernie Gunther is one of the great protagonists in thriller literature. During his eleven years working homicide in Berlin's Kripo, Bernie learned a thing or two about evil. Then he set himself up as a private detective-until 1940 when Heydrich dragooned him into the SS's field gray uniform and the bloodbath that was the Eastern Front. Spanning twenty-five tumultuous years, Field Gray strides across the killing fields of Europe, landing Bernie in a divided Germany at the height of the Cold War. Bernie's latest outing will mesmerize both readers of the Berlin Noir trilogy and anyone who loves historical thrillers, catapulting this cult favorite to breakout stardom.
From New York Times-bestselling author Philip Kerr comes an amazing departure: an intense psychological thriller, sure to garner even more acclaim for this powerhouse author on the rise.
Gil Martins, an agent with the FBIs Domestic Terrorism Unit in Houston, confronts the violence generated by extremism within our nations borders every day. He sees hatred and destruction wrought by every kind of ism” there is, and the zealots who kill in their names. Until now, he has always been a part of the solutionhowever imperfecta part of justice. But when Gil discovers he played a key role in wrongly condemning an innocent man to death row, it shakes his faithin the system, in himself, and in Goddeeply. It even estranges him from his wife and son.
Desperate, Gil offers up a prayer. To know God is there, not through a sign or physical demonstration but through the strength to cope with his ever-growing, ever-creeping doubts.
His problems become more than personal as things heat up in Houston. A serial killer terrorizing the morally righteous turns out to have religious motivations, upping the case from homicide to domestic terrorism. A number of prominent secular icons die or are grievously injured abruptly and under suspicious circumstances, the latest of which is a New Atheist writer whos fallen into an inexplicable coma. Left and right, it seems Gil cant escape the power of God and murder.
As Gil investigates both cases, he realizes that there may be a connectionanswering his prayers in a most terrifying way.
An intense psychological thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of the Bernie Gunther series
Acclaimed for his historical mysteries, Philip Kerr seamlessly shifts to a present-day setting with Prayer.
Gil Martins, an agent with the FBIs Domestic Terrorism Unit in Houston, sees the violence wrought by extremists of all kinds. Gil has always been on the side of justiceuntil he learns something that shakes his faith in the system, in himself, and in God. Desperate, he prays, begging to know God is there. When a serial killer begins targeting the morally righteous at the same time that a number of secular icons come under attack, Gil realizes that his prayers are being answered in a most terrifying way.
From New York Timesbestselling author Philip Kerr, the much-anticipated return of Bernie Gunther in a series hailed by Malcolm Forbes as the best crime novels around today.”
A beautiful actress, a rising star of the giant German film company UFA, now controlled by the Propaganda Ministry. The very clever, very dangerous Propaganda Ministerclose confidant of Hitler, an ambitious schemer and flagrant libertine. And Bernie Gunther, former Berlin homicide bull, now forced to do favors for Joseph Goebbels at the Propaganda Ministers command.
This time, the favor is personal. And this time, nothing is what it seems.
Set down amid the killing fields of Ustashe-controlled Croatia, Bernie finds himself in a world of mindless brutality where everyone has a hidden agenda. Perfect territory for a true cynic whose instinct is to trust no one.
About the Author
Philip Kerr is the author of many novels, but perhaps most important are the five featuring Bernie GuntherA Quiet Flame, The One from the Other, and the Berlin Noir trilogy (March Violets, The Pale Criminal, and A German Requiem). He lives in London and Cornwall, England, with his family.