So deeply saddened by the sudden death at age 62 of the hugely talented novelist Philip Kerr, creator of the outstanding 11-book Bernie Gunther detective series. I’ve read Kerr’s books since the Berlin Noir Trilogy, featuring the Berlin police detective Gunther began appearing in 1989. In 2012 I wrote a blog post “Loving Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther Novels” where I shared this video from his website:
Another time I wrote this about a later Gunther novel, Field Gray:
“Field Gray, a Bernie Gunther novel, features the detective who’s navigated the amoral world of Berlin before, during, and after WWII in seven magnificent books. The latest has especially brilliant plotting, w/the narrative taking Gunther and his memory through all the war years as he endures harsh interrogation from Yanks who arrest him in Cuba in 1954. I find inflections of the Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib prison camps in the book. Kerr is a master. If you’ve never read a Bernie Gunther novel, I urge you to begin the series. March Violets is the first, and I do recommend you read them in order, though I supposed one could also just start with Field Gray.”
I woke this morning to find that a friend who knows how much I enjoy Kerr’s books had tagged me in a Facebook post linking to the brief obituary of Kerr from the Guardian pasted in here; I’m sure there will be many full tributes to come. Kerr wrote other books, as well, including a very good dystopian novel called The Second Angel. In an newsletter emailed to his readers last year, he wrote that there would be a new Bernie Gunther title out in spring 2018, Greeks Bearing Gifts. I see a cover for the US edition is on his website, which as of tonight does not yet mention his passing. I hope he was able to see the printed book before he died. My condolences to his family, and his US editor Marian Wood.