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Greeks Bearing Gifts: Bernie Gunther…
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Greeks Bearing Gifts: Bernie Gunther Thriller 13 (original 2018; edition 2018)

by Philip Kerr (Author)

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1931391,797 (3.93)12
Member:murfie
Title:Greeks Bearing Gifts: Bernie Gunther Thriller 13
Authors:Philip Kerr (Author)
Info:Quercus Publishing (2018)
Collections:To read, Fiction
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Greeks Bearing Gifts by Philip Kerr (Author) (2018)

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
I enjoyed reading this book that I received as an ARC from Netgalley. Philip Kerr may be my new favorite author, I have his Berlin Noir collection on my nightstand to read so we will see if it holds up to its reputation. I am sorry to hear that Philip Kerr passed away recently. may he rest in peace. ( )
  kerryp | Apr 30, 2019 |
This is the thirteenth and probably last of the Bernie Gunther thrillers (the author, Philip Kerr, died shortly before publication) and is a fitting finale for a flawed but still heroic protagonist.

Living under an assumed name in 1950s Germany to escape his past involvement in Nazi affairs Gunther ends up as an insurance claims adjuster at which he very successfully uses his previous police skills to save his employers money. He is sent to Greece to investigate a claim against a sunken ship and is soon drawn into intrigue surrounding ex-Nazis trying to reclaim gold stolen from Greek Jews and lost in World War II and those trying to capture those Nazis.

Although often working for and alongside senior and committed Nazi personnel during the War, Gunther was never devoted to the cause and focused on his job as a detective. This does not assuage his guilt about whether he is tainted by association, whether he could have acted differently to prevent some of the brutality he saw, or his fear of being arrested, or worse, as a war criminal. He does his job well, but finds himself being drawn into a despair about his own and society’s redemption.

The book ends on an ambivalent note. Gunther achieves his professional goal by showing that the insurance claim he is investigating is a fraud, saving his employer huge amounts of money. It is less clear that his attempts to capture wanted war criminals on behalf of Greece will amount to anything approaching justice. His final act in the book is to appear to commit himself to aiding Israel’s Mossad in hunting down further Nazi war criminals.

This book invokes time, place and politics very well while building an interesting criminal and thriller story. ( )
  pierthinker | Feb 20, 2019 |
Very interesting historical background but way too long dialogues made it a slog to get through and put a damper on my enthusiasm for the book. The story pace picked up in the middle as the plot thickened but then got mired down in the last third as the author stretched it out with a lot of introspection and talk in general. What I will take away from this book is the historical context I was not aware of, Adenaeour pardoning so many Nazis and using them in his post WWII government, and the hints of Greek collaborators (or atleast beneficiaries) in top government positions there too post war. ( )
  amaraki | Dec 23, 2018 |
My thanks to Nudge readers for providing a Hardback copy of this novel for me to read and impartially review.
Philip Kerr's excellent "Bernie Gunther" series is not new to me, i have read and thoroughly enjoyed quite a number of this quality series, of which this is number 13, and whilst there are numerous references to our heroes previous escapades, this can quite easily be read as a standalone novel. So if you have not read any of the previous books WHY NOT! Sadly as the Author as passed away i feared this might be the end of Bernie, but i understand a new book will be out in the new year. After that i can only hope that some other Author will take on the mantle, which has happened successfully with several of my other favourite literary characters, Sherlock Holmes Moriarty and Lisbeth Salander to name but three.
Firstly the publishers blurb about this book.
1957, Munich. Bernie Gunther's latest move in a string of varied careers sees him working for an insurance company. It makes a kind of sense: both cops and insurance companies have a vested interest in figuring out when people are lying to them, and Bernie has a lifetime of experience to call on.
Sent to Athens to investigate a claim from a fellow German for a sunken ship, Bernie takes an instant dislike to the claimant. When he discovers the ship in question once belonged to a Greek Jew deported to Auschwitz, he is convinced the sinking was no accident but an act of vengeance.
And so Bernie is once again drawn inexorably back to the dark history of the Second World War, and the deportation of the Jews of Salonika - now Thessaloniki. As Europe prepares to move on to a more united future with Germany as a partner rather than an enemy, at least one person in Greece is ready neither to forgive nor forget. And, deep down, Bernie thinks they may have a point.

Now for my opinion, Bernie Gunther is cynical and darkly funny, this is a memorable highly original character, like a German Philip Marlowe same dry humour and quick wit.
Based on historical facts with a mix of fictional and real life characters, also somewhat topical as the EEC is just being setup, this book is beautifully descriptive with a real feel for time and place, gripping from first to last page this is a highly enjoyable entertaining read.
Highly Recommended. ( )
  Gudasnu | Dec 20, 2018 |
I have liked other books in the Bernie Gunther series, but this one was not my favorite. I feel like Kerr was trying much too hard to mimic the potboiler/Raymond Chandler style of writing. So it left me a bit "meh". ( )
  decaturmamaof2 | Nov 28, 2018 |
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"Munich, 1956. Bernie Gunther has a new name, a chip on his shoulder, and a dead-end career when an old friend arrives to repay a debt and encourages 'Christof Ganz' to take a job as a claims adjuster ... Bernie begins to investigate a claim by Siegfried Witzel, a brutish former Wehrmacht soldier who served in Greece during the war. Witzel's claimed losses ... may be the stolen spoils of Greek Jews deported to Auschwitz. But when Bernie tries to confront Witzel, he finds that someone else has gotten to him first, leaving a corpse in his place. Enter Lieutenant Leventis, who recognizes in this case the highly grotesque style of a killer he investigated during the height of the war. Working together, Leventis and Bernie hope to put their cases, new and old, to bed. But there's a much more sinister truth to acknowledge: a killer has returned to Athens...one who may have never left"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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