Tuesday, June 30, 2009
THE MESSENGER OF ATHENS
TITLE: THE MESSENGER OF ATHENS
AUTHOR: ANNE ZOUROUDI
Details: no. 1 Hermes Diaktoros
This book surprised me. It is a mystery, but an unusual one. In this book the reader is not constantly with the investigator (Hermes Diaktoros) as he uncovers the clues and ultimately the truth. Instead two stories are being told in alternating chapters. One story follows the investigator as he travels over the island of Thiminos discovering some facts about Irini's life and death. The other one is the story of Irini, told from varying perspectives. In this way the reader gets a first hand rather than a second hand insight into the events that lead up to Irini's death.
This style took a bit of getting used to, but in the end it worked for me.
The story, in short, is as follows:
Irini has been dead for two days when her body is found and the verdict of suicide is proclaimed by the local police without any form of an investigation. The inhabitants of Thiminos seem happy enough to let the affair rest there, but not so Hermes Diaktoros, the fat man who arrives from Athens to investigate the death.
It is unclear, even to the reader, on whose authority he operates. He threatens people that he will know when they're not telling the truth and that it will cost them. And he comes with his own form of justice. One that is unorthodox, if not outright questionable.
The book as a whole was intriguing and fascinating, and I will read more books in this series.