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The messenger of Athens : a novel
Anne Zouroudi
Adult Fiction ZOUROUD

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From Publishers' Weekly:

At the start of Zouroudi's intriguing first in a series based on the seven deadly sins, self-styled investigator Hermes Diaktoros (aka "the fat man") arrives from Athens on the island of Thiminos to look into the death of Irini Asimakopoulos, a young woman whose body was found at the foot of a high cliff. Irini's sad story unfolds slowly as Hermes, who can ask questions gently or demand answers gruffly, talks to a number of people involved, including Irini's husband, Andreas; her putative lover, Theo Hatzistratis; Theo's wife, Elpida; and the island's police chief, Panayiotis Zafiridis, who officially deemed her death an accident but privately believes it was suicide. The secrets the locals keep or share can't be hidden from Hermes, who weighs the evidence and, in the end, rewards or punishes in ways that have little to do with written laws. Zouroudi writes well, but this leisurely tale is more likely to appeal to armchair travelers interested in Greece than mystery buffs. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

When the young wife of a fisherman is found murdered, the villagers on the Greek island of Thiminos believe justice was meted out, as she was suspected of having an affair with another man. Then a stranger, Hermes Diaktoros, arrives and begins to ask questions about her death. All assume he has been sent by the Athens police, but who he is and what his motivation is remain shrouded in mystery. VERDICT Zouroudi was born in England but has lived on the Greek islands she describes so well in this atmospheric series debut. She vividly depicts a patriarchal culture in which women are only useful for childbearing and waiting on men. Male characters play out their roles in this Greek drama, but the focus is on women who are abused, married off, and treated as servants yet become the upholders and enforcers of the culture that demeans them. In the hands of a lesser writer, this would be standard fare, but Zouroudi has a deft way with words and an uncanny ability to create a sense of place. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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