Gerhard Maier

Created by Tom Vater

Born and raised in East Germany before the wall came down, GERHARD MAIER was an international war correspondent stationed in Southeast Asia, and is now a private investigator working the same region for a Hamburg-based agency in a trilogy of books by journalist Tom Vater.

He’s forty-something, a big-shouldered, green-eyed guy who speaks three languages and looks “a little lived in,” although he claims that while he might be disillusioned at times and tired, he’s “not finished.” It’s certainly clear he’s been around a bit, and seen a few things. Particularly when he was a reporter in Cambodia back in the day, and a bomb meant for him took out a friend.

That was it for Gerhard. He returned to Germany and handed in his resignation.

So now he works for a German-based detective agency, where he’s their man in Southeast Asia. But he’s learned his lesson, and he’s no fool — now he plays it cautious and cool; careful and alert.

Wouldn’t you?

The author being a journalist may help explain the occasional Stieg Larsson-worthy info dumps (Larsson was a journalist, as well), while Vater’s portrayal of the region as an often disturbing, sordid world where life is cheap suggests he may have read Conrad’s Heart of Darkness once of twice — or at least seen Apocalypse Now.

Oh, the horror…


Hong Kong-based journalist and author Tom Vater’s  assignments have taken him all over the world, including trekking (on foot) across the Himalayas, swimming with hundreds of sharks in the Philippines, and traveling with “sea gypsies and nomads, pilgrims and soldiers, secret agents, pirates, hippies, police men and prophets.” His articles have appeared in The Asia Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Marie Claire and Penthouse. He is also the author of several thrillers (The Devil’s Road to Kathmanduthe Maier trilogy, etc.), as well as several non-fiction titles, travel guides and photo books. And just to put a bow on it, he’s also a co-founder, along with Hans Kemp (creator of Chicago P.I. Scanner Grant), of Crime Wave Press, a Hong Kong imprint that tries to publish the best new crime novels from and about Asia.


  • “The narrative is fast-paced and the frequent action scenes are convincingly written. The smells and sounds of Cambodia are vividly brought to life, and aficionados of this kind of writing will love the book. ”
    — Crime Fiction Lover Blog on The Cambodian Book of the Dead
  • “The Cambodian Book of the Dead is a hard boiled crime story wrapped in a surreal meditation on genocide, globalisation and the expatriate condition, by a writer who has acute observations to make on all three subjects.”
    — Pulp Curry



Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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