Siger, Jeffrey - 'An Aegean Prophecy'
Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis, the Greek Police's Special Crimes Division Head, accompanied by his faithful assistant, Detective Yianni Kouros, is sent by military helicopter from Athens to the island of Patmos. The reason for the urgency is that the body of an intellectually gifted Greek Orthodox monk has been discovered savagely murdered at the start of Easter Week.
The monk was killed in a very brutal manner and Andreas discovers that the deceased was investigating some very dark skulduggery amongst other monks at a different monastery. The dead monk's computer has mysteriously disappeared and there are suspicions of interference from a foreign power, perhaps, Russia, in Greek affairs. The centrepiece of all this intrigue is the beautiful Aegean peninsula of Mount Athos where there are located no less than 20 monasteries.
Andreas learns that one of the most important Greek monks of Patmos has personally requested that the best detective be assigned to the case and that is why he has been sent so quickly by helicopter. Andreas's girlfriend Lila, is expecting their baby, imminently, and she doesn't want him to be spending so much time away on a case when she is about to give birth. She is also concerned about whether he will commit to marriage but that is a subject on which he won't be drawn.
The case is investigated in many different lines of enquiry before reaching the surprising finale. This is the third international police procedural that I've read by this very gifted American author. Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis is a intriguing and well-drawn creation and we learn a little bit more about him from book to book. The books are all very well plotted and whilst they are evocative of the rustic tourist landscape of Greece, they are very readable examples of good police procedurals, on a par with other American authors such as Joseph Wambaugh or Ed McBain. I look forward eagerly to reading his next one.
Terry Halligan, England