Siger, Jeffrey - 'Mykonos After Midnight'
Christos Vasilakis, the legendary owner of the most famous and exclusive night club on the Greek island of Mykonos is found at his house tortured and savagely bludgeoned to death. The Greek homicide squad are called from an adjacent island and start investigating the death and questioning neighbours and friends. Christos's cleaner from Kosovo, who discovered her employer's body tells the investigators that although the murderers have ransacked a large safe, they did not locate a second one which was hidden behind some tiles on another floor. This second safe contained papers, DVDs and tapes of politically explosive secrets about many important figures on the island and mainland. The detectives find some incriminating video footage of the potential killers from street surveillance cameras.
Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis, the Greek Police's Special Crimes Division Head, is called from his office in Athens by one of the assistants he had when he was in charge of the police on Mykonos and he takes a personal interest in the crime. It seems that the deceased Christos had a Polish girlfriend who left a few days before his death to visit her family in Poland and the cleaner from Kosova describes hearing an incriminating telephone conversation before she left with a Russian named Sergey. Andreas and his assistant detectives continue their detailed investigation.
This multifaceted mystery story alternates the police procedural with the Russian Sergey trying to buy a hotel in Mykonos with a view to turn it into a modern money-making machine. As a Russian he has a very limited knowledge of Greek and needs advice and direction from a local named Wacki. Unknown to him, Wacki is reporting to another boss overseas. What could their secret be? The author discusses in the book the background to Grecian economic problems and the effect on the average citizen's living standards, as he sees it.
It was very interesting reading a police procedural again with all the interaction between the different Greek detectives that regular readers of this series will have got to know and the very tight plotting was very impressive and makes me want to look out for further books by this very gifted American author. Although this book is the fifth book in a series about Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis and his fellow detectives, and the fifth I've read, new readers are welcomed to this book as all background stories of the characters are provided.
The case is investigated with many different lines of enquiry before reaching the ultimate conclusion. There are many red herrings and twists and turns before the end of this story. Of all the books he has written this one was the author's best with very many changes of direction in the fast-paced, exciting but very tightly plotted story. Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis is an intriguing and well-drawn creation and we learn a little bit more about him from book to book. The books are all very gripping and whilst they are very evocative of the rustic tourist landscape of Greece, they are extremely readable examples of good police procedurals. In the previous book review I said the author's writing is similar to other American authors of police procedurals such as Joseph Wambaugh or Ed McBain and I have not altered that view. I look forward eagerly to reading his next one. Most enjoyable and highly recommended.
Terry Halligan, England