Although Greece deals with a dire financial crisis, there are people who live on the island of Mykonos who are some of the country's wealthiest people due to the island's status as a tourist mecca and summer hangout for the world's rich. No Mykonian has played his cards better than nightclub owner, Christos Vasilakis-- until he's found bludgeoned to death in his home. Everything seems to point to robbery by thugs, but Tassos, head of the Cycladic Islands' homicide unit, thinks differently. Rumor has long had it that Vasilakis had many of the country's most powerful people dancing to his tune, and small clues in the dead man's home have the Greek homicide inspector calling in the big guns: Andreas Kaldis, head of Greece's special crimes division.
Kaldis agrees with Tassos' assessment and they begin poking around. These men soon find themselves at war with a clandestine group that's determined to gain control of Mykonos and all the resident opportunities for wealth. The people who want control of Mykonos are willing to do whatever it takes to win. Kaldis and his men are going to have to be every bit as determined to prevent them.
What can I say? Jeffrey Siger always delivers. As soon as you begin reading any of his Inspector Kaldis novels, you are instantly transported to Greece-- not only by the sights and smells and sounds, but by the customs, the people, and the political atmosphere. Whenever I want to immerse myself in another country, Jeffrey Siger is one of the writers I turn to first.
The plot of Mykonos After Midnight is fast-moving and hard-hitting. The clandestine group fighting for control of Mykonos is utterly believable because of the people its leader targets to recruit: "...the camaraderie they shared as ignored and undervalued human beings united by a common lack of faith in governments and endless suffering at the hands of society's empty promises. They were the disenchanted, the crazies, the betrayed, the outcasts, the exploited." There are plenty of people like that in the world. Why wouldn't some of them begin banding together to attain their own ends?
The story gathers speed like an avalanche rumbling down a mountainside, and as a result, some of my favorite characters in crime fiction are put in terrible danger. Kaldis and his men are smart, funny, honest, and dedicated to their jobs. They are also quite good at thinking outside the box in order to bring the bad guys to justice, but they aren't bulletproof. Knowing that harm can come to these characters makes me even more invested in the story's outcome.
But Kaldis and his men do not rule the roost. Not by a long shot. There are two women I love even more than Kaldis and Tassos: Kaldis' wife Lila and his secretary Maggie. These two are every bit as smart, brave, and determined as the men-- and they are even funnier.
Are you like me and reading your way around the globe? Take it from me, one of your stops must be Jeffrey Siger's Greece.
Mykonos After Midnight by Jeffrey Siger
Poisoned Pen Press © 2013
Paperback, 259 pages
Police Procedural, #5 Inspector Andreas Kaldis mystery
Source: Purchased at The Poisoned Pen