Assassins of Athens
A Miami Vice-paced mystery set in contemporary Great Gatsby-like Athens.
When the body of a boy from one of Greece’s most prominent families turns up dead in a dumpster in one of Athens’ worst neighborhoods, Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis of Greece’s Special Crimes Division is certain there’s a message in the murder. But who sent it and why?
His search for answers takes him deep into the sordid, criminal side of Athens nightlife and on to the glittering world of Athens society where age-old frictions between old money and new breed jealousy, revolutionaries, and some very dangerous truths.
Andreas is on a journey amidst ruthless, powerful adversaries bringing him face-to-face with ancient Athenian practices, and modern political realities once thought unimaginable.
It is a story about the ambiguity that is, and always has been, Greece.
Top Ten Bestseller in Greece
#4 Fiction Bestseller (Denver)
#8 Hardcover Bestseller, February 2010 (Mysterious Galaxy)
#10 Hardcover Bestseller, 2010 (Mystery Lovers Bookshop)
“This is international police procedural writing at its best.”
—Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
“[S]peedboat-paced…audacious…suspenseful trip through the rarely seen darker strata of complex, contemporary Greece.”
“VERDICT…the author…vividly captures this unfamiliar terrain’s people and culture. Mystery fans who like their police procedurals in exotic locales will welcome this one.”
“[A]nother fast, page-turning, police procedural, from Jeffrey Siger…a most enjoyable book. This well plotted story just speeds along and captures very vividly the Greek way of life.”
“Jeffrey Siger [is] a most compelling author…a superb writer…his plot fast-moving and sprinkled with surprises…[and] best of all he creates the atmosphere of modern Greece in vivid, believable detail.”
“Page turning suspense…Jeffrey Siger’s murder mysteries have all the requirements of a beachside bestseller. Their comments on Greek daily life also make them precious pop culture diamonds…Siger has a keen eye…for today’s Greece, contradictions and all…pithy, spot-on descriptions of the modern Greek landscape…[he] keeps tapping into insights on Greece that sometimes feel prophetic.”
—The National Herald, New York
“[Siger] has managed to get into the spirit of Greek reality…a super murder mystery taking place in the dark neighborhoods of the capital.”
“[Siger’s] acclaimed books have not only explored modern Greece and its ancient roots, but inspired political change in Greece.”
—Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco
“Jeffrey Siger did it again! … If you like a well-written murder mystery, this is it. I can easily compare Assassins of Athens by Jeffrey Siger to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons and can honestly say the fast-paced excitement and drama is on the same level.”
“Pick up book, open said book, read first page and you’re hooked. This novel starts at top speed and continues that way to the very last word…Assassins of Athens is a really, really good read.”
“Author Jeffrey Siger does an excellent job…I’ve read a lot of books that have surprise endings but never one quite like this. It’s a great read.”
“Siger’s first novel involved an intriguing mystery on Mykonos, but Assassins of Athens is even better…And, the Greek history, as told to Andreas, is fascinating…Assassins of Athens is a police procedural with mystery, violence, a little romance, and light touches of humor. Let’s hope Siger finds the appreciative audience he deserves.”
—Lesa’s Book Critiques
“Siger’s plotting is tight and plausible, his twists deft, and his narrative delightfully seasoned by his portrayal of modern Greek society and the roots and motives of crime…Most importantly, he’s crafted a character worth following: Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis.”
“If you enjoy good characterization and truly involving mysteries, read Jeffrey Siger. If you love crime fiction with all that and a superb sense of place and immediacy, then let me repeat myself: Read. Jeffrey Siger.”
Andreas Kaldis once read or heard somewhere that the chatter never stopped in Athens. Not even at sunrise, when the earth itself seemed to pause to draw a breath. Like its people, the city always had something to say whether you were in the mood to listen or not. Sun-up simply shifted the style of conversation from high-pitched shouts of an Athens at play to the anonymous din of a city at work.
That’s what Andreas was doing now, working. “Turn off the damn siren, no one’s listening.” He was in a foul mood. “The body’s going nowhere. Just like us in this goddamn coming-home-from-partying morning traffic.”
Police officer Yianni Kouros said nothing, just did what his boss told him to do. That’s why Andreas liked him, he listened.
Andreas stared out the passenger-side window at a hodgepodge of neglected private and graffiti-covered government buildings. This section of Pireos Street, a formerly elegant avenue, began west of the Acropolis, ran northeast through the trendy, late-night bar and club area of Gazi, and ended with a name change amidst the around-the-clock drug and hooker trade by Omonia Square. What remained of its once-treasured three-and four-story buildings were now warrens of ground-level check cashers, bars, small-time retail shops, and cheap, foreign restaurants. It seemed every immigrant group to Greece had set up shop in this part of town. Truth was, they were everywhere, well almost.
“Bet he wouldn’t bring you here today, Chief.”
Andreas nodded. “God bless him, he’d sit by the edge of the park at Omonia—” gesturing up ahead with his left hand, “having coffee with friends while I’d play. Everyone liked him. I thought that came with being a cop. I should have known better.”
They were locked in traffic packed solid up to an intersection about one hundred yards ahead. The traffic light at the corner was red and, when a gap opened in oncoming traffic all the way back to the light, Kouros pulled the unmarked car into the empty lane and raced toward the intersection.
“Christ, Yianni, at least turn on the lights.”
“Never turned them off, only the siren.” Another reason Andreas liked Kouros: he listened but was no fool.
Kouros reached the intersection just as the light turned green. He swerved across the front of their lane and shot up the street to the right, narrowly missing the rear wheel of a motorcyclist who’d jumped the light.
Andreas turned his head and stared at Kouros. He knew there must be a grin breaking out somewhere on the other side of that face.
© Jeffrey Siger