Anne Zouroudi

The Taint of Midas

""She obviously feels an affinity with everything Greek..." "


On a picturesque Greek island the old beekeeper Gabrilis lives a simple life next to the ruined Temple of Apollo. When he is found murdered at the side of the road, seemingly the victim of a hit and run accident, it becomes clear that all is not well in Arcadia. Gabrilis's land is worth a fortune to unscrupulous developers and he may have unwittingly signed it over to them moments before his death.

Enter Hermes Diaktoros, an investigator who answers only to himself. After discovering his friend's battered body he sets out to call to account those responsible for his death. But on this small Greek island, people quickly close rank and it will take all of Hermes' detective skills to reveal the truth.

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This is an excellent follow-up to The Messenger of Athens. In her first book Anne Zouroudi seemed to be playing with the character of Hermes Diaktoros as if she was unsure of how to present him to readers. In this new book she writes much more confidently about her protagonist and his relationship with the Greeks around him. She obviously feels an affinity with everything Greek and writes well about the lives of the islanders and the contrast between them and the incoming tourists. The book is enhanced by Zouroudi interspersing her text with phrases from the Greek language. She writes with a light touch and without ever resorting to caricature. It would be nice, however, for more of Diaktoros' past to be revealed as his mysterious life can sometimes overshadow the plot. This is highly recommended for those intending to visit Greece this year and for those armchair readers who want to be transported to a Mediterranean island.

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