American writer Jeffrey Siger's debut novel, MURDER IN MYKONOS, received widespread, critical acclaim as a "brilliant," "can't put down" mystery-thriller, giving "an insider's view of the island paradise of Mykonos," and skyrocketed to rank as the #1 best selling English-language book in Greece!
A young woman on holiday to Mykonos, the most famous of Greece’s Aegean Cycladic islands, simply disappears off the face of the earth. And no one notices. That is, until a body turns up on a pile of bones under the floor of a remote mountain church. Then the island’s new police chief—the young, politically incorrect, former Athens homicide detective Andreas Kaldis—starts finding bodies, bones, and suspects almost everywhere he looks.
Teamed with the canny, nearly-retired local homicide chief, Andreas tries to find the killer before the media can destroy the island’s fabled reputation with a barrage of world-wide attention on a mystery that’s haunted Mykonos undetected for decades. Just when it seems things can’t get any worse, another young woman disappears and political niceties no longer matter. With the investigation now a rescue operation, Andreas finds himself plunging into ancient myths and forgotten island places, racing against a killer intent on claiming a new victim who is herself determined to outstep him.
Sort of a 'Mama Mia' setting for a 'No Country for Old Men' thriller.
Poisoned Pen Press published MURDER IN MYKONOS in the United States in January, 2009.
Aikaterini Lalaouni Editions of Athens simultaneously released Greek- and English-language versions in Greece. It was the first time a foreign work of fiction debuted there in both languages. Goldmann Publishing/Random House will publish MURDER IN MYKONOS in Germany in July 2010 (titled OPFERGABEN) and Piatkus Books/Little Brown will publish the novel in the UK and Commonwealth.
The problem with living in paradise, where your economy is based on it being other people’s paradise, is that the sorts of problems which appear regularly on the nightly news elsewhere just cannot be allowed. Oh they may occur, but they can’t become public knowledge, much less reach the news reports; and if they do, it is only as someone else’s problem somewhere else.
Athens homicide detective Andreas Kaldis was simply too good at his job, worrying a number of powerful people with his aggressive investigation into a series of drug trade murders. As a result he was "promoted" to chief of police on the Greek resort island of Mykonos. Officially it was to placate the moneyed visitors who increasingly had more influence over how things were run than the locals, and were demanding better policing, with a more even handed approach—making it desirable that someone from off the island be put in charge. Kaldis thought he was making some progress, but then the Albanian worker found a body in a church crypt. Naked, head shaved, bound hands and feet... a message, not a simple murder. Then when Tassos Stamatos, chief homicide investigator for the Cyclades (the island group Mykonos belongs to) arrived and they talked, it turned out this wasn't the first such body. Searches turn up more and more bodies elsewhere, amidst island power brokers determined that word of this shall NOT get out into the public, no matter who may be in danger because of the silence. After all, even more lives are at stake if the tourists all get scared away (not to mention their own fortunes and skins), and besides, Greece has never had a serial killer. Meanwhile the daughter of a politically connected diplomatic family has taken her broken heart to Mykonos to recover, and hasn't been heard from since...
This is a vivid, highly suspenseful thriller that nicely balances showing us the Mykonos of the tourists with that of the natives. Kaldis isn’t a warm, fuzzy guy but he is an appealing protagonist to follow through this sort of tale—tough and tough minded with integrity to go with intelligence, a sense of humor and a very human personality. He may be good at his job, but he’s not some cold superhero type. The story is filled with the people and their interactions rather than the sort of unbelievable action sequences that dominate too many thrillers today, although it ends with a breathtaking chase after the killer across land and sea. And there’s a final, nicely surprising twist at the very end.
A pulse pounding, suspenseful, sun drenched antidote to the gloomy winter blahs.