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Field Gray by Philip Kerr Review

Title: Field Gray

Author: Philip Kerr

First published October 28, 2010

448 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9780399157417 (ISBN10: 0399157417)

Rating: 4.16


In his novel Field Gray, Philip Kerr immerses readers in a world of political intrigue, espionage, and danger. Following the journey of Bernie Gunther, we travel across Europe during some of its most tumultuous times, from the chaos of Berlin in 1931 to the tense political climate of Adenauer’s Germany in 1954.

Gunther is a man who has seen it all, and his sardonic wit and tough exterior hide a deep sense of right and wrong. As he navigates a world where trust is scarce and the ends always justify the means, Gunther must rely on his own cunning to survive.

Kerr’s writing is reminiscent of great noir authors like Raymond Chandler and Graham Greene, and his protagonist is a hero in the truest sense of the word. With Field Gray, Kerr delivers a captivating and thrilling read that will leave readers on the edge of their seats.

Editoral Review

Field Gray by Philip Kerr: A Masterful Historical Thriller

Field Gray by Philip Kerr is the seventh book in his Bernie Gunther series, first published on October 28, 2010. The novel is a brilliant addition to the historical thriller genre, taking readers on an unforgettable journey through the dark and treacherous world of Nazi Germany and beyond.

Philip Kerr was a renowned author of historical fiction who passed away in 2018. He is best known for the Bernie Gunther series, which features a cynical and tough German detective who navigates the complex politics of Nazi Germany and beyond.

His writing style combines meticulous research with gripping storytelling, creating a vivid and authentic world that is both terrifying and fascinating. Field Gray is set in the 1950s, with Bernie Gunther on the run from the authorities in France after being accused of war crimes.

The story alternates between Bernie’s present-day predicament and flashbacks to his past experiences as a soldier and detective in Nazi Germany, including his encounters with historical figures like Joseph Goebbels and Reinhard Heydrich. Through the eyes of Bernie, we witness the horrors of war, the moral ambiguity of his decisions, and the consequences of his actions.

Kerr’s writing is exceptional in its ability to balance suspense and historical accuracy. He skillfully weaves together complex plotlines, themes, and characters, leaving the reader with a deep understanding of the historical context and the emotional impact of the story.

His characters are well-rounded and multi-dimensional, with their flaws and virtues laid bare for all to see. Despite the heavy subject matter, Field Gray is a highly enjoyable and entertaining read, with plenty of action and intrigue to keep the reader engaged.

The pacing is spot-on, with the tension building gradually towards a satisfying conclusion. The historical details are accurate and well-researched, bringing the setting and characters to life in vivid detail.

One of the strengths of the novel is its exploration of moral ambiguity and guilt. Kerr forces the reader to confront the uncomfortable realities of war and its aftermath, and the ethical dilemmas that arise from it.

Bernie is a flawed and complex character, whose actions are not always black and white. The novel avoids simplistic moralizing, instead offering a nuanced and insightful exploration of human nature.

One minor weakness of the book is its complexity. The multiple plotlines and characters can be difficult to keep track of at times, and the flashbacks can sometimes be confusing.

However, this is a minor quibble, and the overall quality of the writing and storytelling more than makes up for it. Overall, Field Gray is a masterful historical thriller that showcases Philip Kerr’s exceptional ability to blend history, mystery, and suspense into a gripping narrative.

It is a must-read for fans of the genre and anyone interested in the complex and turbulent history of Nazi Germany. The Washington Post gives Field Gray a rating of 4.5 out of 5, and highly recommends it to all readers looking for a thrilling and thought-provoking adventure.