“Field Gray” is the 7th in the “A Bernie Gunther Novel” series by Philip Kerr about the Berlin Kripo detective, Bernie Gunther, who was essentially forced into the SS during World War II.
“Field Gray” switches from the 1930’s to 1940’s and into 1954 when Gunther was living in Cuba with an Argentinian passport working for a famous underworld figure in Havana. He is roped into taking one of the girls from a brothel to Haiti in a rented boat and is stopped by the American Navy as they pass by Guantanamo. What ensued is a series of incarcerations and interrogations by American, French and other operatives to try to discover what Gunther knew of Nazi atrocities and other crimes during the war.
Gunther never joins the Nazi party and abhors any killing that does not adhere to standard conventions of war. He is not beyond planting evidence and doing what needs to be done as a cop to put criminals away. He is not beyond killing other soldiers when they have been proven to be indiscriminate killers of women and children. He finds he has to figuratively hold his nose and work with certain Nazi leaders in order to survive or to get favors for people he loves.
Bernie’s musings in prison and confessions during his interrogations give a fascinating insight into the war from a democratic-leaning German officer’s point of view.
This book is not only historical fiction, it is also a spy suspense thriller where Gunther is trying to identify and apprehend certain Nazi thugs and chooses secretly to protect one of them, and a war drama.
I was totally absorbed in “Field Gray” and suspect lovers of many genres would also enjoy it.