For over half a century, the beautiful, ruined Temple of Apollo has been in the care of the old beekeeper Gabrilis. But when the value of the land soars, he is forced to sign away his interests – and hours later he meets a violent, lonely death.
When Hermes Diaktoros finds his friend’s battered body by a dusty roadside, the police quickly make him the prime suspect. But with rapacious developers threatening Arcadia’s most ancient sites, there are many who stand to gain from Gabrilis’s death. Hermes resolves to avenge his old friend and find the true culprit, but his methods are, as ever, unorthodox....
©2008 Anne Zouroudi (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
The story here was interesting (part murder-mystery, part snapshot of what it's like to live in modern-day Greece) and has some of the same qualities as 'The Ladies #1 Detective Agency' series, though with more incisive character studies and a less sentimental approach.
I feel certain that some of these character studies and 'slice of life' moments were supposed to be light-hearted and even a little bit funny, but apparently the narrator and/or the audio director for this recording didn't agree with me, because the reading was slow, sonorous, and sounded more like a eulogy than a novel in which honeybees figure prominently and someone's always eating a sugary pastry.
Three-second pauses between sentences are common; whole phrases are more 'intoned' than 'spoken'; and every character sounds like they've been seriously depressed and/or lethargic for a while now.
That might have worked if the story itself were some dark Russian tale where family members were killing each other and black clouds were always looming over a barren landscape while children died of pneumonia every five minutes. Here it just kind of gets in the way of enjoying some of the really quite good characterizations and interactions between characters.
The character of the main person. His acute understanding of human mind and soul. His culture-rich relation with wine and the land.
Fat man (the hero) discussing with his adversaries.
It has to be enjoyed with time, like slow food.
"A taste of Greece"
I really enjoy a brief visit to the greek isles, away from the april showers. This book was a real holiday. Well written. Intriquing plot.
"A thoroughly satisfying 2nd book in series"
Having greatly enjoyed listening to The Messenger of Athens, this 2nd excellent story sees me set to continue with the 'greek detective' series. I very much like the concept of 'the fat man' and the way he dispenses (or helps along it's way) justice and opens up new and better lives for some of the decent characters he meets along the way. The narrator was a new name for me but I thought he did an excellent job sidestepping the accent diffculties the very excellent Sean Barrett had struggled with with the first book.
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