Siger, Jeffrey - 'Target: Tinos'
Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis, the Greek Police's Special Crimes Division Head, is anticipating his marriage on the Island of Mykonos in less than a week to Lila. She is from one of Greece's oldest and wealthiest families and it is to be the high society wedding of the year with many important guests. So with so many arrangements to take care of he does not want to be asked to take charge of an important murder investigation on the Greek Island of Tinos now. However, his boss is the Greek Minister of Public Order (similar to the Home Office) and he insists and consequently he cannot refuse. The crime is a brutal one, it seems that two gypsies have been knocked unconscious with gas, chained up and burnt alive in a truck.
We learn that on the island of Tinos there is a cafe that is particularly frequented by itinerant workers on the island including gypsies and it is run by this very silent strange man who has a sister who helps him run the place and she is even more silent than he is. What could their secret be? The author discusses in the book also the background to the Greek economic woes, as he sees it, and he suggests that upon entry to the EEC a huge lot of migrant foreign workers entered the country and the indigenous population blame them for the economic slump. Could the murders be the result of vengeance by particularly aggrieved indigenous Greeks blaming foreigners for the decline in the countries prosperity?
Andreas learns that an attempt may be made to disrupt his wedding with a bomb and he has to take drastic measures to prevent this happening including installing x-ray machinery to scan all guests as they arrive and deploying lots of his men as extra security. Andreas and his assistant detectives investigate several lines of enquiry but the murders keep continuing and always there is in the back of the readers mind the thought that the protagonist should be attending to the final arrangements for his nuptials. The date is set for only a few days away and the meeting and courting of his wife to be, was covered in an earlier book, which makes the urgency of the situation that much more acute.
The case is investigated checking out many different lines of enquiry before reaching the very surprising 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, I believe, was the author's best with so many changes of direction in the fast-paced, imaginative but very tightly plotted story that one did not know what would happen next. This is the fourth international police procedural that I've read by this very gifted American author. Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis is an exciting but 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 the best international police procedurals similar perhaps to those of Donna Leon. I look forward eagerly to reading his next one. Highly recommended.
Terry Halligan, England