Books by Philip Kerr

British author Philip Kerr introduced his series character, World War II-era Berlin private eye Bernie Gunther, in March Violets. He wrote two sequels over the next couple of years (The Pale Criminal and A German Requiem), but then abruptly discontinued the series, instead producing a succession of standalone thrillers. His most recent novel, Field Gray, is out this month. Credit: Lindsey Parnaby


THE LADY FROM ZAGREB by Philip Kerr
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 7, 2015

"For setting, character, plot—and the ability to navigate a moral swamp—le Carré has a rival in Kerr."
Kerr (Field Gray, 2011, etc.) does moral ambiguity better than most; his flawed yet empathetic hero, Bernie Gunther, is a captain in the Nazi SD—Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers, the SS's feared intelligence service.Read full book review >
PRAYER by Philip Kerr
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 6, 2014

"Though an interesting change of scenery for the author, the novel fails to distinguish itself."
In this departure from Kerr's Nazi-era Bernie Gunther series (the Berlin Noir trilogy, etc.), Houston-based FBI agent Gil Martins investigates the mysterious deaths of a group of outspoken atheists. Read full book review >
THE WINTER HORSES by Philip Kerr
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: March 25, 2014

"A worthwhile-enough read for kids particularly interested in history and/or horses. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
Kerr, well-known for his best-selling World War II thrillers for adults (A Man Without Breath, 2013, etc.), enters YA territory with a compelling but ultimately flawed tale of saving the last Przewalski's horses from Nazi invaders. Read full book review >
A MAN WITHOUT BREATH by Philip Kerr
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 16, 2013

"Kerr masterfully explores morality's shadowy gray edge."
Kerr (Field Gray, 2011, etc.) offers his eighth Bernie Gunther mystery. Read full book review >
PRAGUE FATALE by Philip Kerr
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 12, 2012

"Bernie's voice—ironic, mordantly funny, inimitable—reflects a world-weary journey. Still—and this is the entertaining heart of the matter—readers are never permitted to forget that survival is his religion."
Good cop and confirmed Nazi-hater Bernie Gunther (Field Gray, 2011, etc.) lands in the middle of a homicidal riddle. Read full book review >
FIELD GRAY by Philip Kerr
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 14, 2011

"An accomplished thriller."
When fans meet Bernie Gunther in this latest saga in the adventurous life of the hard-bitten, sardonic policeman, Kerr's (If the Dead Rise Not, 2010, etc.) stalwart Berliner detective is in pre-Castro Cuba. Read full book review >
IF THE DEAD RISE NOT by Philip Kerr
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 2010

"Another sexy, mordantly funny, thinking man's thriller from Kerr (A Quiet Flame, 2009, etc.), who, despite an impressive body of work, continues to fly under the radar."
It's 1934, and Bernie Gunther's chasing bad guys in Hitler's Berlin. It's 1954, and bad guys are chasing Bernie in the Mafia's Havana. Read full book review >
A QUIET FLAME by Philip Kerr
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 19, 2009

"Warts and all—Kerr makes little attempt to hide them—Bernie Gunther (The One from the Other, 2006, etc.) remains endearing, entertaining and eminently forgivable."
Hitler is history, but Bernie Gunther, the SS guy with a heart of gold, is alive and well, and chasing dirty rats in Argentina. Read full book review >
THE ONE FROM THE OTHER by Philip Kerr
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 7, 2006

"Grim and gripping, with all the author's customary sure-handedness in evidence."
After 15 years, Kerr (Hitler's Peace, 2005, etc.) dusts off his most compelling protagonist: Bernie Gunther, postwar Berlin's hardest-boiled PI. Read full book review >
HITLER’S PEACE by Philip Kerr
Released: May 19, 2005

"Again, the protean Kerr (Dark Matter, 2002, etc.) nails his setting and does justice to a large fictitious/for-real cast, but an emotionally inaccessible protagonist—who sees an affinity between himself and Hitler, inasmuch as both are without 'moral values'—is hard to warm to."
It's 1943, two years before V-E Day, and everybody knows the Germans are beaten—especially the Germans. So what's to be done about it? Read full book review >
DARK MATTER by Philip Kerr
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"Rich as history and philosophy, largely weak as drama."
Set in squalid 17th-century London, this intellectually rigorous and emotionally cool mystery finds Sir Isaac Newton pursuing counterfeiters and uncovering a far-reaching plot that threatens Great Britain. Read full book review >
THE SHOT by Philip Kerr
THRILLERS
Released: April 11, 2000

"Kerr's material has always been fairly bleak (Esau, 1997, etc.), but this slog through the Slough of Despond is particularly grim: you meet only the unredeemed, the unrepentant, and the unrestrained."
Castro and JFK are targets of dueling conspiracies in this downbeat tale, a thriller suggesting that the no-good have already inherited the earth. Read full book review >
THE SECOND ANGEL by Philip Kerr
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Jan. 1, 1999

Unpredictable Kerr's latest (A Five-Year Plan, p. 287, etc.) is a wildly ambitious space opera set in a future grimly colored by the specter of an AIDS-like virus. Read full book review >
A FIVE-YEAR PLAN by Philip Kerr
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 1, 1998

"It all makes for a heartlessly accurate, if synthetic, copy of Leonard at his most disarming—and leaves you wondering just how many more voices Kerr has up his sleeve."
Versatile Kerr, last spotted scaling the Himalaya in search of hominids and a CIA zealot (Esau, 1997), heads into Elmore Leonard territory in this amusingly overplotted thriller. Read full book review >
ESAU by Philip Kerr
Released: April 1, 1997

An electrifying discovery in the high Himalayas sends a group of scientists—complete with the requisite bad apple— scurrying for traces of the missing link between ape and man. Read full book review >
THE GRID by Philip Kerr
THRILLERS
Released: April 2, 1996

"When the funhouse terrors have abated, though, it's sad to see a writer of Kerr's dark gifts riding this cornball express to the bank. (Film rights to Polygram)"
Imagine HAL, the murderously defensive computer of 2001, in charge of a state-of-the-art Los Angeles office building, and you have the premise for Kerr's witty, eminently predictable blockbuster. Read full book review >
DEAD MEAT by Philip Kerr
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 1, 1994

"Not to be compared with Gorky Park, or with Kerr's own peerless Berlin chronicles of Bernie Gunther (A German Requiem, 1991, etc.)—but still a sharp, sour look at a post-Soviet world in which everything and everybody is up for grabs."
Kerr's nameless narrator, a Moscow police investigator sent to St. Read full book review >
A PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATION by Philip Kerr
Released: April 1, 1993

"Kerr doesn't stint on either the technical or the philosophical side of his futuristic landscape: the result is the bleakest, brainiest thriller to come along in years."
Kerr leaps from postwar Germany (A German Requiem, 1991, etc.) to London in 2013 to tell a challenging story of freelance social engineering. Read full book review >
A GERMAN REQUIEM by Philip Kerr
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

"Though not as elaborately horrifying as Bernie's first two adventures, this one, lacking the Reich as automatic villain, is even bleaker—and, in its depressing way, even richer in ironic insight."
Bernhard Gunther, who's aged over ten years since his first appearance in 1936 Berlin—he's now lived through a hellish war and has settled down warily with a wife who's cuckolding him with one of the occupying Americans—is cast as a less witty but equally mordant detective in this postwar tale of murder and political intrigue. Read full book review >