At Any Cost

At Any Cost


Greece is burning and Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis is determined to save his country from disaster.

Chief Inspector Kaldis is initially dismayed to be asked to investigate a series of suspicious forest fires that took place last summer. In Greece, forest fires are an inevitability, and he fears he and his team are being set up to take the political blame for this year’s blazes.

He quickly becomes suspicious, though, that the forests were torched for profit—and for a project on a far grander scale than the usual low-level business corruption. There are whispers on the wind that shadowy foreign powers intend to establish a surreptitious mega-internet presence on the island of Syros, with the intent to weaponize the digital world to their own dark ends.

Can Kaldis and his team stop the hostile foreign takeover of the idyllic island—or will the rise of the metaverse set not just Greece, but the whole world, on fire?

A new Kaldis case is always a treat, and this one is no exception. The combination of highspeed action, ethical issues, and the politics of the metaverse will keep readers engaged.
Booklist, Starred Review
…rich, entrancing local color that has become a trademark of Siger’s series… A timely mystery with an engaging cast and a sublime setting.
Kirkus Reviews

Full Praise

“A new Kaldis case is always a treat, and this one is no exception. The combination of highspeed action, ethical issues, and the politics of the metaverse will keep readers engaged.”
Booklist, Starred Review

“…rich, entrancing local color that has become a trademark of Siger’s series…A timely mystery with an engaging cast and a sublime setting.”
Kirkus Reviews

“breakneck action…gorgeous descriptions of Greece … returning cast of supporting characters… the latest in this atmospheric series.”
Library Journal

“fans of the Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis series, rejoice!”
The National Herald

“Jeffrey Siger’s books excel in always avoiding the repetitive in plot, and At Any Cost is no exception…I look forward with great interest to every new Siger book, and I am never disappointed.”
—NetGalley Reviewer (Jane A, Educator, 5 stars)

“With the usual characters of Chief Inspector Kaldis and his staff and family, this was another success from the author.”
—NetGalley Reviewer (Becky A,Librarian, 5 stars)

“I thoroughly enjoyed At Any Cost, which is a high tech thriller with political overtones. The main thing is the thriller bit with plenty of action and tension while the high tech concept is explained in simple enough, if terrifying language for a technophobe like me…the novel has a bit of everything, excitement, drama, tension, high stake stand offs, fun, humorous dialogue and picturesque scenery…a good read that I have no hesitation in recommending.”
—NetGalley Goodreads Reviewer Elaine Tomasso, 4 stars)

“This detective novel takes readers on a thrilling journey… excels in showcasing the police procedural…With the backdrop of today’s AI-driven world, the book feels timely and relevant…the author cleverly employs a character to translate the complex concepts, ensuring accessibility for all readers…Overall, this book is a quick and engaging read that combines elements of mystery, family dynamics, and technological intrigue.”
—Goodreads Reviewer (Janereads10, 3 stars)

“Once again, Jeffrey Siger taps into the world’s politics in order to scare us to death.”
—NetGalley Reviewer (Lesa H, 3 stars)


He regarded himself as a swashbuckling pirate awash in Mediterranean adventures. Part Errol Flynn, part Johnny Depp, and part good old Jacob Diamantopoulos. Trouble was, Jacob lived in Brooklyn, and the only boat he’d ever been on was the Staten Island Ferry, an experience that still haunted him.

One lunchtime, on a warm and gusty mid-October day, Jacob’s mother had showed up at his third-grade classroom to take him for what she promised would be ‘an adventure on the high seas.’ It was the first anniversary of his father’s death from a heart attack, and his mother decided that the two of them should spend the afternoon visiting her sister-in-law on Staten Island. Normally his mother took the bus, but today she decided it would be more fun for eight-year-old Jacob if they went by ferry.

An uneventful fifty-minute subway trip from Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach brought them to Manhattan’s South Ferry, where they boarded the largest vessel in the fleet for the five-mile journey across a choppy New York Harbor to Staten Island. Jacob had never seen a boat that big up close. It stood longer than a football field and could hold 6,000 passengers, though only a quarter of that many people had joined this crossing.

The journey was as exciting as his mother had promised. He sat staring out a starboard window, mesmerized by the Statue of Liberty while his mother softly stroked his hair. She spoke of how tightly she’d gripped his father’s hand at her first glimpse of that symbol of freedom from the plane that brought them to their new lives in America.

As the ferry approached Staten Island’s St George terminal, his mother hurried them forward on the main deck to be among the first to disembark. ‘We’re almost there,’ she said, bending down to kiss the top of his head.

He knew nothing about boats, so he didn’t bother to ask why the ferry hadn’t slowed down.
That unasked question was answered a moment later when the Andrew J. Barberi slammed into a concrete pier that ripped through the ferry’s main deck on the starboard side, trapping hundreds of passengers in piles of broken glass, twisted metal, and splintered wood, while others leaped overboard into the sea.

The impact hurled Jacob away from his mother and buried him under the pile of bodies flung forward behind him. He struggled to breathe, shouting all the while for his mother. All he heard were the screams and moans of the bloodied and dying surrounding him. He never knew how long he lay trapped before rescuers reached him.

Seventy passengers were injured that day.

Ten died.

Including his mother.

Never again had he set foot upon a boat.


© Jeffrey Siger

Read more

Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis Mysteries