“Greeks Bearing Gifts” by Phillip Kerr


By Philip Kerr

The words “master storyteller” are used sparingly in the industry, which they should. But when it comes to this man and his fantastic character of Bernie Gunther, those two words really sum it up.

We are in the year 1957, and Bernie is a claims adjuster who has been sent to Athens to investigate a claim that came from a very important client. The claim stems from the fact that a ship has supposedly been sunk and Bernie’s employers, a German insurance company, want him to check this out before they have to step up to the plate and pay off the claimant. But when Bernie digs up the fact that the ship in question once belonged to a Greek man of Jewish faith who spent time at Auschwitz, he starts to believe that this was no accidental sinking; instead, it becomes clear that this was an act of revenge. When the claimant is then found dead, shot through the eyes, Bernie sees this even more clearly. After all, now his employers don’t have to pay out anything…no matter if the claim was real or not. But, with Bernie’s luck, the job is not done. He’s asked by the Greek police to help with the investigation, and he’s soon pulled into the dark history of WWII and the deportation of Jews.

Enter Lieutenant Leventis, who is working the same type of case. These new deaths mimic ones that occurred during the war. Leventis has always suspected a certain SS Officer to have committed these crimes; however, he became untouchable during the war, hiding behind the German government. Leventis has never forgotten his name, though, and knows this is the second chance he’s been waiting for to see this creep come to justice.

With Bernie and Leventis working together and a monster on the loose, readers will embark on a thrill ride that once again shows why Philip Kerr is clearly deserving of that “master storyteller” title.

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