GREECE: BEFORE AND AGAIN – Jeffrey Siger
MURDER IN MYKONOS introduces Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis in the first in the series by Jeffrey Siger. This is a police procedural with more than a few twists to move it beyond the run-of-the-mill entries in this category.
ASSASSINS OF ATHENS opens with the discovery of the body of a young man in a dumpster. When he is identified as the son of one of the richest men in Greece, Kaldis suspects that this case is going to become complicated. As the police investigate, they discover that some of the wealthiest families in Athens have moved from Greece, never to return. There is something deeply disturbing happening in the cradle of democracy. As in the United States, it is imperative that citizens examine closely the circumstances and the decisions of the Founding Fathers. Sometimes it isn’t a good thing to go back to the old days.
Next week I expect to get my copy of Siger’s third Kaldis book, PREY ON PATMOS. The time between an author finishing a book and seeing it on the shelves of a bookstore can be more than two years. With that in mind, Siger seems to have been able to see into the future when he was writing the book. ASSASSINS and PREY are so topical that it is best to let the author explain some of the connections.
Saturday is Jeff Siger day on the blog Murder Is Everywhere (www.murderiseverywhere.blogspot.com). Yesterday in response to some comments made on his post he explained the background to his books and the current political and economic climate in Greece and the impact it has on its citizens.
From Murder Is Everywhere, December 18, 2010
- Jeffrey Siger said…
- “…let me explain why I believe the crisis confronting Greece is unique. Two Greek laws present the issue nicely.One law essentially provides immunity to any member of parliament for crimes committed during a concluded term of parliament. That’s a get out of jail free card. And no government minister has ever been convicted of corruption, though that all may change as the result of the Greek people’s current demand for blood.
The most likely conviction(s) will tie into a scandal arising out of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games involving former government ministers and a remote, Byzantine monastery in the secretive 1500 year old monastic community of Mount Athos. That monastery has played host to Prince Charles and George H. W. Bush, among other world movers and shakers, and Michael Lewis did a wonderful piece in October’s Vanity Fair on the monastery and its purported role in the scandal. Serendipitously, my new book, Prey on Patmos: An Aegean Prophecy, picks up where his article ends!
On the other end of the spectrum we have law two.
On a day in 1973 (November 17 to be exact) Greece’s ruling military dictatorship sent tanks onto a university campus to crush student protest against its regime. That bloody event led to the subsequent fall of the junta and adoption of a law forbidding police and military from entering onto university grounds for essentially any reason, making universities a haven for masked Molotov cocktail and stone tossing demonstrators who did not fear the police, as long as there was an escape route to their sanctuary.
So, on one end we have corrupt politicians with their amnesty and on the other rioters (who may not even be students) with their asylum. Stuck in between is the rest of Greece living amid a culture where tax evasion and bribery is seen as necessary for surviving a cost of living as high as Paris (sans housing) on salaries where twelve hundred euros a month ($1,500) is considered very good for workers of any age. And that was in pre-crisis days.
The bottom line question is where will all this lead? Answer: See, Assassins of Athens.”
Siger’s information about the laws in Greece that have real as well as fictional impact is an example of a story being ripped from the headlines.
The series should not be missed