GREEKS BEARING GIFTS is the 13th novel in Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther series and sadly with Kerr’s untimely death there will be only one more novel in the series after this one.
Bernie is now living under the assumed name Christof Ganz and working as a mortuary attendant in Munich. The working conditions and pay are terrible but he makes extra money working as a pallbearer. Then he is recognised by a corrupt cop from his past and coerced into helping with a corrupt scheme. He manages to escape the scheme and as a result is offered a job more suited to his expertise. As a claims adjuster for an insurance company he will use his detective skills to investigate dubious claims.
His work goes well and he has saved the insurance company quite a lot of money. As a reward he is sent to Greece to investigate the claim for a ship that has recently sunk. He is instantly suspicious of the ship’s German owner Siegfried Witzel and starts to investigate him further. But when Witzel is found murdered Gunther is discovered nearby by the cops. Greek detective Leventis offers Gunther a deal – find the real murderer of be charged with the murder himself.
Leventis recognised the MO of the murder and knows that the killer was a notorious Nazi who was involved in deporting Salonika’s 60,000 Jews during the war. So, once again Gunther finds himself involved in an investigation that he would rather not be near. But the further he goes, the more his conscience drives him to do the right thing.
He is assisted in Greece by the Athens insurance man and by a beautiful young lawyer who has fallen for the much older Christof Ganz.
Once again Philip Kerr has produced an excellent Bernie Gunther novel. It was so full of funny one liners that I quite often found myself reading aloud to people I was with at the time. But there was also the dark serious side of a Germany throwing off its war time past and once again becoming the economic powerhouse of Europe.
Sadly there will only be one more Bernie Gunther novel – METROPOLIS will be published in 2019.