Review: Prussian Blue – Philip Kerr

Philip Kerr Prussian BlueSeries: Bernie Gunther 12

My version: Hardback
Genre: Historical Fiction Germany, France, WWII
First published: 2017
Bought, signed

From the cover:

France, 1956. Bernie Gunther is on the run. If there’s one thing he’s learned, it’s never to refuse a job from a high-ranking secret policeman. But this is exactly what he’s just done. Now he’s a marked man, with the East German Stasi on his tail.

Fleeing across Europe, he remembers the last time he worked at the Berghof, Hitler’s summer hideaway in the Bavarian Alps. Hitler is long dead, the Berghof now a ruined shell, and the bizarre time Bernie spent there should be no more than a distant memory.

But as he pushes on to Berlin and safety, Bernie will find that no matter how far he thinks he has put Nazi Germany behind him, for him it will always be unfinished business. The Berghof is not done with Bernie yet.

There is a Speesh Reads Pinterest Board for Prussian Blue. You’ll find pictures of the majority of people and places featured in the novel, along with links to further reading

Prussian Blue Philip Kerr SignatureBeing asked which is the best Bernie Gunther thriller, must be like being asked which is your favourite child. Impossible to say, though if it were my child, I’d shower this one with gifts, love and affection.

Prussian Blue can’t be far off the longest Bernie Gunther thriller so far. 500+ pages packed with incident, real-life characters, close-shaves, flash-backs and slow-backs as Bernie races to get back to Berlin while staying ahead of the vicious monsters chasing him, while being reminded of a really rather bizarre and chilling investigation he was forced into during the war. That’s it in a nutshell, but with Philip Kerr and Bernie Gunther involved, you know you’re in for a whole lot more. The book is also a look at Martin Bormann, the ‘cult of Hitler’ and the detachment from reality, the Nazi inner-circle both instigated and prolonged.

The Speesh Reads Infiltration Department have smuggled a coded message back from the other side of the Berlin Wall: The name Stasi, is a shortening of Ministerium für Staatssicherheit. It meant ‘The Ministry for State Security.’

Bernie seems to have had enough of this shit too. Obviously, getting away from his post-War life on the French Riviera, was a sensible, life-or-death move. If he wanted to have more of the former, and not the latter, but the lure of a return to Berlin was finally too strong, you could almost hear him damning the consequences in the need to get back to where, despite all that has happened to him in his eventful life, he still feels is ‘home.’ As Lee Child is quoted on the cover:

Bernie Gunther – sly, subversive, sardonic, and occasionally hilarious – is one of the greatest anti-heroes ever written, and as always, he lights up this tough and unflinching novel.

For me, while Prussian Blue was the point that the news of Philip Kerr’s untimely death broke. Reading it turned to a bitter sweet experience, then to a good one, as I thought, how lucky I was to have been around at the same time that one of any kind of Fiction’s best exponents was writing at the absolute top of his – and anyone else’s – game.

You can buy Prussian Blue from

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