Greeks Bearing Gifts (by Philip Kerr)

Greeks Bearing Gifts
Philip Kerr
Published April 2018

As an avid reader of the Bernie Gunther thrillers, and the added untimely death of author Philip Kerr, this novel was eagerly anticipated. It seems that this will be the penultimate book in this series. The series has followed Bernie’s various incarnations pre-WW II, through the war and then latterly post-war. In this incarnation, Bernie is an insurance loss adjuster. Bernie is the same uncouth character with a nose for solving a crime.

Set in Greece (for most of the novel) at the time of the formation of the EEC, there is great scope for comment about democracy. A boat sinks whilst the crew is trying to find relics. The captain is murdered and Bernie is the prime suspect. As usual, there is plenty of intrigue, with a hint of romance for Bernie, and you are kept guessing about the significance of the Mossad, German Intelligence, Nazis, corrupt politicians and police force.

The plot twists are numerous and all the time Bernie keeps you amused with his sarcastic comments. There are lots of characters with Greek and German names that are difficult to differentiate. So reading without delay helps you remember the characters! Pertinent comment about the future of Europe is woven into the storyline with plenty of historical and political background. At times even Bernie seems to go rogue with his thoughts and comments. For instance, he has a full-page rant about breasts (yes, glad to get that one off my chest!).

Enjoyable but perhaps not his best novel!

More about Philip Kerr

Philip Kerr is the author of more than 30 books, including 12 Bernie Gunther novels, several standalone thrillers, and seven books in the young-adult series Children of the Lamp under the pen name of P.B. Kerr.

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