Quercus pays tribute to 'cherished' author Philip Kerr

Quercus pays tribute to 'cherished' author Philip Kerr

Philip Kerr, one of Quercus' "most successful and cherished authors", has died aged 62.

He passed away on Friday (23rd March) after a battle with cancer. 

Born in Edinburgh, Kerr studied law at university before working as a copywriter at a number of advertising agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi.

A spokesperson for his publisher Quercus said Kerr left an "outstanding body of work" behind, including novels A Philosophical Investigation and Gridiron, for which he was selected by Granta as one of the Best of Young British Novelists in 1993. Altogether his novels have sold into 37 languages.

Kerr’s "crowning achievement" was the Bernie Gunther series – 13 historical novels about a Berlin detective set before, during and after the Second World War.

"A cynical, erudite, wise-cracking, fiendishly clever man, lover of women, hater of Nazis and yet obliged to work for them to survive, Bernie is a unique creation", said the publisher.

Just before Kerr died, he finished a 14th Bernie Gunther novel Metropolis, which will be published in the UK and US next year.

"His legions of fans are lucky that he had the strength and determination to complete it", the publisher added.

Kerr was also the author of several "audacious" standalone literary thrillers as well as a series for younger readers called The Children of the Lamp.

Tributes across the literary world have poured in for the author.

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.”

Abir Mukherjee tweeted: "Gutted at the news of Philip Kerr’s passing. One of the authors whom I most admire. Not sure I’d have started writing if it weren’t for him."

Kerr's books have sold 427,645 copies for £3.61m since 1998, according to Nielsen BookScan. His bestseller is the 1993 edition of Berlin Noir, which sold 42,013 copies.

Kerr was married to the author Jane Thynne and they have three children, William, Charlie and Naomi.