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Prayer [Kindle Edition]

Philip Kerr
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

A chilling modern horror story in which the source of the horror is totally unexpected - and utterly terrifying.

Special Agent Gil Martins investigates domestic terrorism for the Houston FBI. Once a religious man, now his job makes him question the existence of a God who could allow the violence he sees every day.

Gil is asked to investigate a series of unexplained deaths of victims known for their liberal views.

When a woman tells Gil that these men have been killed by prayer, he questions her sanity. Yet the evidence mounts that there might be something in what she says, even more so when Gil finds that his own life is on the line.

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Product Description


'A high-concept novel tackled in unabashed fashion' Independent. 'A cracking thriller ... the story unfolds at a white-knuckle pace with a sense of the unknown that is genuinely disturbing' The Times. 'Gripping' Sunday Mirror. 'Tantalisingly creepy ... genuinely scary ... satisfyingly malign' Observer.

From the Inside Flap

Special Agent Gil Martins investigates domestic terrorism for the Houston FBI. Once a religious man, how he's close to losing his faith; the very nature of his job leads him to question the existence of a God who could allow the violence that Gil witnesses every day. But Gil's wife Ruth doesn't see things the same way and his crisis of faith provokes a fracture in their marriage. Gil's world is breaking apart. At the same time, he starts to investigate a series of unexplained deaths that bring this crisis of faith into frightening focus. When a disturbed woman tells Gil that the victims have been killed by prayer, he questions her sanity. But as the evidence mounts that there might be something in what she says, his new-found atheism is severely challenged, even more so when he finds that his own life is on the line. After a series of acclaimed and prize-winning Bernie Gunther novels, Philip Kerr has written a chilling modern horror story in which the source of the horror is totally unexpected - and utterly terrifying.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1213 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (26 Sept. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00D79ESCC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • : Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #39,554 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Philip Kerr was born in 1966 and read Law at Birmingham University. Having learned nothing as an undergraduate lawyer he stayed on as postgraduate and read Law and Philosophy, most of this German, which was when and where he first became interested in German twentieth century history and, in particular, the Nazis. Following university he worked as a copywriter at a number of advertising agencies, including Saatchi & Saatchi, during which time he wrote no advertising slogans of any note. He spent most of his time in advertising researching an idea he'd had for a novel about a Berlin-based policeman, in 1936. And following several trips to Germany - and a great deal of walking around the mean streets of Berlin - his first novel, March Violets, was published in 1989 and introduced the world to Bernie Gunther.
"I loved Berlin before the wall came down; I'm pretty fond of the place now, but back then it was perhaps the most atmospheric city on earth. Having a dark, not to say black sense of humour myself, it's always been somewhere I feel very comfortable."
Having left advertising behind, Kerr worked for the London Evening Standard and produced two more novels featuring Bernie Gunther: The Pale Criminal (1990) and A German Requiem (1991). These were published as an omnibus edition, Berlin Noir in 1992.
Thinking he might like to write something else, he did and published a host of other novels before returning to Bernie Gunther after a gap of sixteen years, with The One from the Other (2007).
Says Kerr, "I never intended to leave such a large gap between Book 3 and Book 4; a lot of other stuff just got in the way; and I feel kind of lucky that people are still as interested in this guy as I am. If anything I'm more interested in him now than I was back in the day."
Two more novels followed, A Quiet Flame (2008) and If the Dead Rise Not (2009).
Field Gray (2010) is perhaps his most ambitious novel yet that features Bernie Gunther. Crossing a span of more than twenty years, it takes Bernie from Cuba, to New York, to Landsberg Prison in Germany where he vividly describes a story that covers his time in Paris, Toulouse, Minsk, Konigsberg, and his life as a German POW in Soviet Russia.
Kerr is already working on an eighth title in the series.
"I don't know how long I can keep doing them; I'll probably write one too many; but I don't feel that's happened yet."
As P.B.Kerr Kerr is also the author of the popular 'Children of the Lamp' series.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Premise - no delivery 14 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Somebody is slaughtering prominent atheists, a serial killer is stalking non-believers who are dying in terror in unimaginable ways - this is going to be great! We are led to believe that something terrible is stalking these infidels and our hero, a lapsed Catholic, is entering a life & death struggle to find the killer or killers and in the process save his own soul! Can't wait to see how this turns out - so I waited, and waited and waited - anytime now, this is going to be great.... unfortunately it doesn't. It turns out that God is a bit of a s*** and gets a bit pissed off if you don't believe in him and worship him in a way that he deems appropriate and far from our hero entering into a life and death struggle to challenge vile, satanic forces we spend the rest of the book watching him have a complete mental breakdown. To say this book fails to deliver is an understatement. Philip Kerr had reached a level with me where I buy his books on trust - knowing I can rely on him to deliver a great story. no longer I'm afraid - if this had been my first Philip Kerr novel it would have been my last - in fact I doubt if I would have finished it if I hadn't trusted that in the end something would happen - it didn't - maybe he should have another go at writing it as a thriller rather than as some angst filled exploration of human misery and mental illness.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No Thriller, No Humour, No Suspense 13 Jan. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is hardly a thriller, if anything it is a novel about one man's quest for the love of God. Or the fear of God? I'm not sure.

The setting is well written and convincing, despite the excessive use of acronyms. However, I found myself skimming entire chapters of pseudo-religious gibberish about the fear of god and demons. Despite being prominent throughout the whole novel the protagonist (who is also the narrator) remains an enigma, not to mention all the other characters that are stereotypical at best. The storytelling is tiring and repetitive, the portrayals of women and sex scenes are simply awful. The ending, when it finally comes after endless descriptions of horror visions, seems pointless.

Bernie Gunther's sense of humour rarely shines through; it is hard to believe this novel is by the same author.

I love all the Bernie Gunther novels but this was really disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pray dead 10 Jan. 2015
Phillip Kerr is an established thriller writer, probably best known currently for his Bernie Gunther crime thrillers. However, he has also written science fiction thrillers, for example ‘Gridiron,’ about a homicidal AI skyscraper, and ‘The Second Angel,’ a bank heist on the moon. ‘Prayer’ belongs more in this fantastic fiction category, being a supernatural thriller exploring the use of prayer, no less, as a lethal weapon.
Special Agent Gil Martins is assigned to a domestic terrorism unit in Houston. As such, he witnesses terrible crimes that lead him to question his Christian faith, based on his Catholic upbringing, and developed by his marriage to an evangelical Christian.
He begins to read atheist literature, and his wife’s discovery of his ‘atheist porn’ precipitates a disintegration of the marriage. Meanwhile, his attention is brought to the weird deaths of a number of vocal and prominent atheists, whereby a mental breakdown is followed by a sudden, shocking demise. One common factor is that they all died in the grip of unimaginable terror. Then, someone is arrested and confesses to the killings, only they claim that the murder weapon was prayer…
This is an effective page turner. The author knows how to hook the reader into a developing mystery, and builds an atmosphere of mounting dread. The dialogue is snappy, and the pace of the narrative moves events along at an exciting gallop. The central mystery is also intriguing enough to hook you. What has scared these people to death? Is it an Angel of Death summoned by prayer, or is there a rational explanation, a ‘Scooby Doo’ type unmasking? “Mr Janitor! So you were the Angel of Death!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promises much - delivers little! 14 Dec. 2014
By still searching TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having recently finished the entertaining Bernie Gunther outing, `A Man Without Breath', I was intrigued to see Kerr had forayed further afield into the murky world of theological musings and religious fanaticism. Not being a fan of organized religion of any stripe the combination of a story written by a favourite author featuring a stereotypical god-fearing FBI agent investigating religion inspired domestic terrorism in the One Star State appeared to be just what I was looking for. It seemed to promise the prospect of covering similar ground to the brilliant recent HBO TV series `True Detective' set in Louisiana.

After a weak start which had me beginning to believe this was going to be a bit of a long haul the narrative picked up and skilfully seduced me into thinking that something truly interesting might be in the offing: so much so that I could hardly put the book down! Sticking the boot into the loony evangelical Bible Belt Christianists so beloved of Palin, Bush and co. excited my own prejudices to such an extent that all else went by the way-side while I hurtled towards what I so eagerly anticipated - a satisfying and rational conclusion.

And indeed that seemed to be the case, with even an unnerving undercurrent of M. R. James' `Casting of the Runes' hinted at. However, once I got to the final 100 or so pages, I very soon realized the denouement had the visceral punch of a mischievous four year old in a poorly made paper Halloween mask!

Thus, the book ends not with the desired bang but with a decidedly weak whimper. I suppose expecting religion and rationality to co-exist within the pages of the same story was hopelessly naïve in the first place!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The item was as described and arrived in the allotted time spot
Published 10 days ago by Mr. J. Mann
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 2 months ago by d j o gregory
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
In a word, ghastly.
Published 2 months ago by jimmy de santis
1.0 out of 5 stars This is the most sexistic and boring book I've read in a long time
This is the most sexistic and boring book I've read in a long time, I haven't finished, Im two thirds through and I think I have never quit a book before it ends, but this might be... Read more
Published 5 months ago by britt ahdev
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 months ago by terence syron
2.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear!
I was hoping for a novel featuring an American Bernie Gunter type character, what I got was a 3rd rate supernatural thriller. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Kindle Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars A page turner, but the conclusion fails to impress.
As a big Bernie Gunther fan, I was initially not drawn to the lead character, though the St Peter storyline is clever. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like Michael Crichton books, you should give this a go.
I never really got into the Bernie Gunther novels, having previously enjoyed his prior books like "A philosophical investigation" and "GridIron". Read more
Published 9 months ago by David
3.0 out of 5 stars A confusion of themes makes for an intriguing read
Ironically, I took it on blind faith that I'd enjoy a Philip Kerr thriller, regardless pretty much of the subject matter, so I came to Prayer without a clear idea of what I'd... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Rowena Hoseason
3.0 out of 5 stars Creepy
Mr. Kerr’s latest is a creepy and baffling standalone, a kind of mishmash of horror and mystery. Reading this fright-filled meditation on faith was similar to watching a... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Toni Osborne
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