J.F. Juzwik's Reviews > Assassins of Athens

Assassins of Athens by Jeffrey Siger
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May 17, 12

Read from March 02 to 29, 2012

What’s that you said? You don’t know Andreas? Well, shame on you. Andreas is the creation of Jeffrey Siger, and we’re first introduced to him in Murder in Mykonos. We become further acquainted with him in Assassins of Athens. So, what’s so special about Andreas Kaldis? Let’s begin at the beginning.

Murder in Mykonos: The story begins with Andreas Kaldis being ‘promoted’ to Chief of Police on the island of Mykonos (approximately 90 miles, by plane, from Athens). In truth, the employment change was more a matter of ‘removing’ him from his position in Athens. Andreas was getting a bit too close to the powers that be in an investigation, and powerful people don’t like it when detectives get too close to them or to their activities. Removing the inquisitive law enforcement officer from the equation is the only solution. He could be made to simply disappear, or he could be ‘promoted’. The latter was the decision in Andreas’ case.

Andreas is described as a ‘hot-shot detective’. Make no mistake. Impulsive and irrational, he is not. He is also not to be underestimated. He may not behave in the expected politically-correct manner, but he gets the job done. He’s smart, he’s methodical, and he’s not afraid to step on toes to get the job done.

So, his new career as chief ‘dog-and-cat protector’ (as he sees it) begins with a bang. There’s a killer in paradise. A body is found under a stone slab in a church crypt that should have contained only bones. The Greek Orthodox faith prohibited cremation, and due to a lack of cemetery space, the dead were buried in cemeteries for 3 or 4 years. Then, they were relocated to a crypt under the families’ church, provided they were affiliated with one.

On top of these bones, however, was a fresh kill--two weeks deceased max. It was a woman, and she was ritually restrained and posed. And, she wasn’t the only one. To add yet another complication to Andreas’ already full plate, the daughter of an Ambassador traveling in the area is reported missing.

Tassos Stamatos, Chief Homicide Investigator for the Cyclades, already haunted by his own personal demons, joins Andreas on the hunt for the killer and the missing girl. Both of them give it all they’ve got in hopes they will find the girl before the killer does.

Assassins of Athens: Old world traditions can be both charming and heartwarming. Here, however, we discover that certain ancient practices can be based on vengeance and carried out with murder.

In Athens, Andreas begins his investigation of the murder of a young man, whose body had been placed in a dumpster. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning of the nightmare. What is happening runs so much deeper than parents losing their son. There are powerful and dark forces at work and they are intent on making certain that their message is received and clearly understood.

Andreas’ ‘trust no one’ outlook is certainly a wise one. To get the answers he needs, he has to deal with both sides of the law. Sometimes, in order to catch the Devil, one has to pass through the gates of Hell and take him on in his house. Andreas Kaldis makes that journey whenever necessary, and never takes the time to knock.

Can Andreas find a way to stop the impending collision of bad and worse before more lives are destroyed?

Characters, plotline, pacing--all critical components in any story. But, as in real estate, another three critical aspects are location, location, and location. Here’s where you hit the jackpot. The location is Greece, with all its old-world beauty and new-world intrigue. The author lives in Greece, and he knows whereof he speaks. The descriptions of islands, restaurants, hotels, side streets…all rich and colorful. You can picture every street corner, every shop window, every passer-by. You feel as if you are shadowing each character throughout their journey and you can feel the rain, smell and taste the food, and shudder with their fear. With such vivid depictions of settings, people and events, when you reach the end, you want to go back and experience it all over again.
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