Philip Kerr, author of Bernie Gunther novels, dies aged 62

Reply Sat 24 Mar, 2018 03:45 am
This is a real shock, I really loved the Bernie Gunther novels. He will be missed.

The Scottish crime writer Philip Kerr, best known as the creator of the fictional detective Bernie Gunther, has died at the age of 62.

His death on Friday was confirmed by his publisher. Tributes poured in on social media for the award-winning author who penned a series of historical thrillers set in Germany during the second world war and cold war.

The author Ian Rankin tweeted: “Numbed by the news that Philip Kerr has died. His Bernie Gunther novels are extraordinary, a mix of great storytelling and brilliant research, with a believable (a)moral hero.”

Kerr, who wrote more than 30 books, including 12 Bernie Gunther novels as well as standalone thrillers and non-fiction, was married to fellow novelist Jane Thynne, with whom he had three children.

His wife wrote on Twitter: “RIP beloved Philip Kerr. Creator of the wonderful #BernieGunther. Genius writer and adored father and husband. 1956-2018.”

Kerr’s publisher Quercus Books said: “We are very sad to have lost Philip Kerr today, a wonderful man and a great author. We are thinking of @janethynne and all his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.”

Edinburgh-born Kerr studied law at university before working as a copywriter at a number of advertising agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi. He is said to have spent much of his time in the job researching an idea for a book about a Berlin-based policeman.

Following several trips to Germany his first novel, March Violets, was published in 1989 and Bernie Gunther was born. .

Kerr went on to trace the career of the tough-talking detective from 1930s Berlin through the horrors of the Third Reich, into the post-war era and to the cold war.

He also wrote the Scott Mason novels and a number children’s books under the name P B Kerr including the Children of the Lamp series.

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Reply Sat 24 Mar, 2018 05:27 am
I'm sorry to learn of this. Izzy introduced me to Kerr's writing and I'll miss reading further editions of the Bernie Gunther novels. They're great historical mysteries, really well researched, and filled with moral ambiguities about the nature of political violence and the difficulties of living an ethical life under an authoritarian regime gone mad. Thank you, Mr. Kerr and R.I.P.
Reply Sat 24 Mar, 2018 06:22 am
I know, I was really looking forward to the next one after Prussian Blue.

This literally came out of the blue, only the Guardian is carrying the story. I didn't know Kerr was ill.
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