An Aegean April
It all begins one evening on the eastern Aegean Greek island of Lesvos, close by Turkey, when the patriarch of a prominent shipping family, with a plan for shutting down the lucrative refugee trafficking pipeline between Turkey and Lesvos, is struck down in his own garden by a swishing sword.
When a refugee-turned-NGO-aid-worker is found at the scene, splattered with the victim’s blood, he’s immediately arrested by the local police, but his NGO boss convinces Kaldis to take over the investigation, and we’re off on a nail-biting ride with Kaldis and his team through Byzantine island politics, deteriorating diplomatic relations, and a world on fire amid the intrigues and brutality of a cool, resourceful, ruthlessly villainous narcissist, who keeps you in fearful suspense until the very end.
An Aegean April puts a human face to the moneymakers, human smugglers, fearful families, NGO activists, local islanders, politicians, press, and cops caught up in this epic catastrophe that is a seminal issue of our times.
—Crime Fiction Lover
One of the Best Books of 2018 (Library Journal)
The best of the best for 2018 (Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine)
#2 Hardcover Fiction Bestseller (Vroman’s Bookstore)
#5 Fiction Bestseller (Denver)
“Books to Add to Your September Reading List… Jeffrey Siger, bestselling author of the Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis series…has written yet another compelling novel.”
—The National Herald
“Come for the wonderful characters in Siger’s books. Stay for the beautifully constructed stories that explain our world. One of my [top ten] favorite books of the first half of 2018.”
—Lesa’s Book Critiques Blog
“Vividly depicts the political and economic issues involved in the European refugee crisis… outstanding crime novel.”
—Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
“Siger’s ripped-from-the-headlines ninth mystery featuring Chief Insp. Andreas Kaldis combines a convincing police procedural with lurid thriller elements… Vivid local color, agreeable central characters, and exciting action scenes make this a winner.”
“The ninth case for Siger’s Greek detective (Santorini Caesars, 2016, etc.), brimming with suspense and a distinct sense of place, continues to deepen the back story of its band of heroes.”
“A delicious tale straight from the headlines that is almost as much travelogue as it is crime fiction.”
—Reviewing the Evidence
“This series is really close to my heart… Discovering this author gave me a renewed interest in the Greek culture, society, and history”
“I believe this is the first novel to treat this highly important current event in mystery fiction [the refugee crisis]…. And then there are the memorable Siger villains. He does ‘villain’ better than almost anyone I can think of… a most informative and exciting read.”
—Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine (George Easter)
“Gets the heart pounding and the pages turning…. Alongside the action, and the gathering tension in the sub-plots, the sense of place is strong… an outstanding conclusion to a tightly packed 300-page thriller.”
—Crime Fiction Lover
“I love these books…. Easy to read, fun to read, and most informative… Start with this one if you like, or even better make believe you’re going to vacation in Greece for a week and read all nine.”
—J. Brendan Ryan Bookletter
“Jeffrey Siger writes incredibly interesting and complex characters.”
“[In An Aegean April] readers are exposed to the history, culture and physical beauty of this part of Greece, as well as the magnitude of the country’s refugee crisis. This author is amazingly knowledgeable about Greece and carefully researches the background for each of his novels to make them both entertaining and enlightening.”
—Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine (Steele Curry)
“Siger’s books are so Greek, the pollen from the olive trees makes me sneeze… This is one of my favorite series, and I hope it will become one of yours, too… Rating A”
“…very gifted author…has a light touch and there is a lot of very wry humour in his books to offset the often very dark violence… the author’s best…one could not guess what would happen next… extremely readable examples of the best international police procedurals, similar perhaps to those of authors such as Donna Leon and Joseph Wambaugh… Very strongly recommended.”
“[I]ts criminal plot is a natural byproduct of the enormous humanitarian crisis that is still taking place in Greece and the Mediterranean, as millions of immigrants continue to try to escape poverty, war, and devastation by flooding into southern Europe. Siger has taken on the task of making a very complex set of circumstances comprehensible, showing us why it matters, and done both well.”
“Buckle up, because there are some twists and turns in this book that’ll knock you out of your seat. Jeffrey Siger gives us another skillfully written thriller, and cements his status as a master of the modern murder mystery… Jeff is so adept at capturing the plight of Greece and its crises, while at the same time, showing his love for his adopted country. This book will make you rethink what you know about the refugee crisis and its accompanying players. Jeff knocks it out of park once more.”
—Windy City Greek
“[C]omplex and nuanced mystery that uses the plight of the refugees as a flashpoint for trouble and…to learn a little something about the massive, ongoing exodus from Syria (now in its eighth year)…read An Aegean April.”
—Don’t Need a Diagram (Mark Stevens)
The northeastern Aegean island of Lesvos, a place of quiet beauty, storied history, and sacred shrines, had long drawn the attention of tourists, though never quite the hordes of off-islanders that descended each summer onto some of its much smaller, but far more notorious, Cycladic island neighbors to the southwest. Its reputation as the bird-watching capital of Europe, possessing the greatest array of wildflowers in Greece and one of the world’s largest petrified forests, drew a different sort of tourist.
Lesvos ranked as the third largest of Greece’s islands, behind Crete and Evia, with roughly one-third of its 86,000 inhabitants living in its capital city of Mytilini, an alternative name used by many Greeks for the island. Most Greeks, though, knew very little about modern Lesvos and thought of it, if at all, as little more than the serene agrarian home of Greece’s ouzo and sardine industries.
That abruptly changed in 2015.
Virtually overnight, thousands of men, women, and children fleeing the terrors of their homelands flooded daily out of Turkey across the three-and-a-half to ten-mile-wide Mytilini Strait onto Lesvos. Tourists, who’d come to holiday on the island’s northern shores, found themselves sitting on the verandas of their beachfront hotels, drinking their morning coffee, watching in horror as an armada of dangerously overloaded boats desperately struggled to reach land.
But not the refugees, for they saw no choice but to come, no matter the predators waiting for them along the way: profiteers poised to make billions of euros off the fears and aspirations of desperate souls willing to pay, do, or risk whatever they must for the promise of a better, safer existence. In 2015, more than a half million asylum-seeking migrants and refugees passed through Lesvos, looking to make their way to other destinations in the European Union (EU).
The chaos of the modern world had spun out a rushing storm of profit for human traffickers of every stripe, and Lesvos sat dead center in its path.
© Jeffrey Siger