Athenian Blues is by Pol Koutsakis. Stratos hates being called a hitman. A conscientious fixer is what he is. He fixes problems that very few can deal with. Things that people are willing to pay handsomely to get done, without wanting to know about the small stuff. Stratos is their man, provided that his meticulous research shows him that the targets deserve their fate. But now, in the midst of the Greek economic and political crisis, this film-noir loving assassin takes on the highest-profile case of his career. He finds himself caught between the most beloved lawyer in Greece, known as “the guardian of the poor”, and his actress wife, the most desirable woman in the country. They are both in dire need of his killing services, but which one is telling the truth? Helped by three childhood friends, Costas Dragas, a homicide cop, Teri, a transsexual high-class hooker and Maria, the passion of his life, he discovers that truth, in shattered loves and broken families, is, as ever, a relative thing.
The Road to Ithaca is the fifth in the Martin Bora WWII mystery series by Ben Pastor. In May 1941,Wehrmacht officer Bora is sent to Crete, recently occupied by the German army, and must investigate the brutal murder of a Red Cross representative befriended by SS-Chief Himmler. All the clues lead to a platoon of trigger-happy German paratroopers but is this the truth? Bora takes to the mountains of Crete to solve the case, navigating his way between local bandits and foreign resistance fighters. With echoes of Claus von Stauffenberg, Bora is torn between his duty as an officer and his integrity as a human being.
Heretics is by Leonardo Padura. Inspector Mario Conde is back in a sweeping novel of art theft, anti-semitism and family tragedy. From Cuba during WWII to 17th Century Amsterdam and back to Havana today. In 1939, the Saint Louis sails from Hamburg into Havana’s port with hundreds of Jewish refugees seeking asylum from the Nazi regime. From the docks, nine-year-old Daniel Kaminsky watches as the passengers, including his parents, become embroiled in a fiasco of Cuban corruption. But the Kaminskys have a treasure that they hope will save them: a Rembrandt portrait of Christ. Yet six days later the vessel is forced to leave the harbour with the family, bound for the horrors of Europe. The Kaminskys, along with their priceless heirloom, disappear. Nearly seven decades later, the Rembrandt reappears in an auction house in London, prompting Daniel’s son to travel to Cuba to track down the story of the lost masterpiece. He hires Mario Conde, and together they navigate a web of deception and violence in the morally complex city of Havana.
A darkly humorous, literary and psychological mystery set in a Boston still suffering fromthe consequences of the financial crisis. Written with the pace and controlled violence of the best of Tarantino’s films, it is the story of Franck, a private detective from NY, a cokehead and a dandy, who , in a race against time and the local sheriff, investigates two brutal murders committed by what could be the same psychopath. Breaking with many conventions of the genre, the novel holds a satirical mirror to our society by entering the minds of two men at the edge of sanity. Sheriff McCarthy, a church-going family man, is desperately trying to keep some sort of boundary between the sordidness of his investigations and his private life. He is also a man trying to keep faith in human nature and the order that should prevail in the world. But Franck, willing to kill for the sake of a good pun, dominates the story. He is a disturbing, violent, totally decadent character, always over dressed, an actor with too much make-up, a man always rushing to the bathroom for another line of coke, revealing the darker workings of the case with a blood curdling laugh. Tree Drops of Blood and a cloud of Cocaine is by Quentin Mouron.