Idyllic but remote, the Greek island of Thiminos seems untouched by the modern world. So when the battered body of a young woman is discovered at the foot of a cliff, the local police - governed more by archaic rules of honor than by the law - are quick to close the case, dismissing her death as an accident. Then a stranger arrives, uninvited, from Athens, announcing his intention to investigate further. Hermes's methods of investigation are unorthodox, and his message to the islanders is plain - tell the truth or face the consequences. But Hermes brings his own mystery into the web of dark secrets and lies. Who has sent him to Thiminos, and on whose authority is he acting?
©2007 Anne Zouroudi (P)2013 Dreamscape Media, LLC
When a young wife, who was rumored to be unfaithful, turns up dead, the local police rule it a suicide. Then a visitor from Athens comes, uninvited, to investigate her death. However, Hermes Diaktoros is even more of a mystery than the murder he is investigating, and he has a truly uncanny knack for revealing the human weaknesses that led to this tragic death.
Zouroudi's writing is gorgeous, lyrical, I would almost say ethereal, except that it pulses with every sensation. Her writing is so alive! The descriptions are fresh and vivid, almost overwhelming. I had the feeling that I was dipping into the souls of the characters rather than simply experiencing their words and emotions. Which is why I enjoyed this book so thoroughly. There is a strong mystical current to the story that is so much a part of the physical world that it cannot be separated. I read a review that said there was too much description, not enough action. I disagree. Beyond the most obvious allusions, a little knowledge of mythology and superstition will go a long, long way with these books. There seems to be no shell, no stone, no bird mentioned that does not act as a signpost.
Perhaps what I like most about these mysteries is the sense of real justice. Hermes appears at first as an almost comical creature, then he develops gravitas and brings about the kind of justice tempered with mercy most of us dream about. Nearly all murder mysteries leave us disenchanted or disgusted with humanity. The Hermes Diaktoros novels start with dark events and then give me hope for humanity. They are immensely satisfying reads.
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