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Ashes

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  18 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Translation of Stachtes, published by Kastaniotis Editions, Athens, in 2007.
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published July 1st 2011 by Maclehose (first published January 1st 2011)
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Raven
You know when you hit a period of reading crime books and you just think 'yadda yadda yadda- read it all before' well, I have just broken my recent cycle of this by discovering the marvellous 'Ashes' What a breath of fresh air and a brilliantly realised crime novel with a completely authentic portrayal of Greek society. The translation was excellent and I loved the coke-sniffing , revenge-seeking policeman Chronis and the way his relationship developed with the borderline alcoholic lawyer Simeon ...more
Rob Kitchin
Ashes is a fine slice of Greek noir. All of the principle characters and institutions are deeply flawed. Although in charge of internal affairs, Colonel Halkidis is addicted to cocaine and is prepared bend the law in savage ways, though he does so for justice not financial gain. Piertzovanis is an alcoholic and prone to depression and melancholy. Raina is cheating on her boyfriend. Sonia is vain and a lush. Just about all the other characters are corrupt or prepared to turn a blind eye. The poli ...more
Nancy Oakes
Ashes is set in Greece, and is a story that focuses on a country falling apart, in part due to its often morally-bankrupt caretakers as well as other forces that have sent society spiraling down into a decline from which it may or may not recover. As a social commentary, it's a winner, and as a novel of crime fiction, it's also pretty awesome.

As the novel opens two things are going on in Athens: preparations are underway for the Olympic Games, and a rather non-descript house burns down, taking w
...more
Ellie
A house in Athens is burned to the ground, three are dead and one women is left fighting for her life. The women, Sonia, was once a great actress and her ex-lovers, her alcoholic landlord and a policeman, are the only ones who wish to find out what really happened the night of the fire.

I liked the idea, the narrative is split between Halkidis and Piertzovanis, the two ex-lovers, interspersed with memories of Sonia. However I found that I was missing the inflections we are used to in speech to kn
...more
Nose in a book (Kate)
I took this book on holiday with me because crime is usually a good bet for an absorbing throwaway read. This book didn’t quite live up to that expectation, being both better than expected but also in some ways worse. I probably need to explain.

For a start this is one of the more literary police procedurals I have ever read, inasmuch as the writing is very good, a little experimental even, and it doesn’t follow the expected rules of the genre. Now that may partly be because it’s Greek, and perha
...more
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