"[This is a] novel that's both a rock-solid mystery and comments incisively about so many issues besetting Europe and the world today." —Huffington Post
When a young demonstrator is publicly singled out and assassinated by highly trained killers in the heart of protest-charged Athens, Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis is convinced the killing was meant not to take out a target, but as a message. A message from whom? To whom? And why?
Kaldis' search for answers leads him and his team to the breathtakingly beautiful island of Santorini, heralded in legend as the lost island of Atlantis, and to eavesdrop on a hush-hush gathering of Greece's top military leaders looking to come up with their own response to the overwhelming crises and uncertainties their country faces.
Is it a coup d'état, or something else? Greece is no stranger to violence upending duly elected governments and memories of the nation's last junta dictatorship years still burn in the minds of all who lived through the Regime of the Colonels. The answer is by no means clear, but as suspects emerge and international intrigues evolve, the threat of another, far more dramatic assassination grows ever more likely—as does the realization that only Kaldis can stop it.
But at what price? Greece's government is in chaos, its goals and leadership are suspect, and Kaldis is forever at odds with its methods. Life is not the same, nor is it likely to return to better days any time soon. With a new child on the way, and their young son coming face-to-face with the harsh nature of the world around him, Kaldis and his wife wonder if carrying on the fight matters anymore.
It is a time for testing character, commitment, and the common good. And for saving the nation from chaos.
Near the start of Siger's talky eighth mystery featuring Chief Insp. Andreas Kaldis (after 2015's Devil of Delphi), college student Penelope Sigounas, a brigadier-general's daughter, is shot and killed at an antigovernment demonstration in Athens. The perpetrators wore black fatigues and balaclavas in the style of police or military personnel, yet the manner of her shooting suggests an execution-style killing. The case takes the wisecracking Kaldis and his colleagues to the island of Santorini, where an important meeting of career military officers known as Caesars will be held. Kaldis and company conduct surveillance in a tavern, where one of the dinner guests may have a connection to the deceased. Siger uses this event and a second dinner as an opportunity for his characters to discuss Greek democracy and to criticize the government. Meanwhile, the possible assassination of the Greek prime minister raises the stakes. The picturesque Greek islands provide some welcome atmosphere.