A vicious murder puts Bernie Gunther on the trail of World War 2 criminals in Greece in this riveting historical thriller in Philip Kerr's New York Times bestselling series.
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 "Christoph Ganz" to take a job as a claims adjuster in a major German insurance company with a client in Athens, Greece.
Under the cover of his new identity, 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 are large , and, even worse, they 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. Back then, a young Leventis suspected an S.S. officer whose connection to the German government made him untouchable. He's kept that man's name in his memory all these years, waiting for his second chance at justice...
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Weaving heartbreaking historical lessons with the sparkling hope of redemption, Philip Kerr’s 13th Bernie Gunther novel is a tragicomic triumph. The tough-talking ex-cop hero now lives in Munich, where he lends his detective skills to a large insurance company. When he’s sent to Athens to investigate a claim, he winds up at the center of a politically motivated revenge plot to deport Greek Jews during World War II. Kerr strikes the perfect balance between gravitas and humor: Gunther’s sardonic wit provides a counterpoint to the poignant subtext of the dangers of history repeating itself.
Set in 1957, bestseller Kerr's twisty 13th Bernie Gunther novel (after 2017's Prussian Blue) finds the former Berlin cop employed as a lowly mortuary assistant in Munich. Fortunately, a bit of detective work he does on the side leads to a new job as a claims adjustor for a local insurance company. His first assignment takes him to Athens to look into the case of the Doris, a small ship that was on an expedition searching for ancient Greek artifacts when it caught fire and sank. Bernie talks with the Doris's owner, a German diving expert, who soon meets a violent end possibly at the hands of a wanted Nazi war criminal, who in 1943 helped put thousands of Greek Jews (including the Doris's original owner) on trains to Auschwitz. Once again, Kerr shows Bernie contending bravely if futilely against powerful forces whose full evil becomes clear only at the end. The good news for series fans is that an even better career may lie ahead for Bernie as a spy. Author tour.)
Another Great Bernie Gunther Read
It is 1957 (?) and Bernie is a morgue attendant in West Germany. An intricate plot gets him into the insurance business and eventually to Greece to investigate a claim.
It is terrific as we get a Greek history lesson, try to distinguish the shadows from evil, get Bernie’s wisecracks, beautiful Elli, and moral dilemmas. It is a fast paced page turner that keeps you guessing until the end.
One of Kerr’s best if not his best. Some really interesting insights and reveals regarding post WW2 Greece and it’s relationship with both Germany and the EEC. Bernie Gunther as “Everyman German” with regard to personal as well as corporate German conscience re the horrors of the War years that they inflicted on others. A great story!
Middle of the road
I enjoy Bernie Gunther but this book seemed to drag on a bit. The history lesson was good and I hope his relation with the dragon queen leads to more adventures