Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Recap: Target: Tinos by Jeffrey Siger
Jeffrey Siger's Chief Inspector Kaldis series has everything I enjoy in a police procedural series; well-developed characters, clever banter between the cops, and interesting crimes with unexpected twists. However, like the other books, his latest, Target: Tinos, has something so many others don't. Siger adds his knowledge of Greece, its politics, history, and beauty, and that knowledge makes Target: Tinos stand out from other police procedurals.
It's just two weeks until Andreas Kaldis' wedding to socially prominent widow, Lila Valdi. Bad timing for a crime on the island of Tinos, home to the Church of Panagia Evangelistria, the Lourdes of Greece. The remains of two men were found in a burnt out van. They had been chained, wrapped in the Greek flag, and left with a note, "Revenge or Death." With the play on Greece's national slogan, the media was in an uproar, and Kaldis' boss wanted him to make sure the investigation was handled properly. As head of the Greek police's Special Crimes Division, Kaldis has the authority to investigate anywhere.
After the victims are identified as tsigani, gypsies, the media disappears, and Kaldis' boss wants the case to disappear as well. The government is afraid some members of the E.U. would use the murders, possible hate crimes, as a reason to end financial aid to Greece at a time when Greece was desperate for assistance. But, it's too late. Once Andreas and his team have their teeth into a case, they're not going to let it go just because it's politically wise. Kaldis doesn't care who the victims are. Someone has been killed. And, once the team discovers there might be a larger crime target, and that minority groups have been paid to move to Tinos, they're not going to give up, even when the threats hit close to home.
In this case, threats do hit close to home. As Lila prepares for their wedding, Andreas must also prepare with more security than expected. It's the society wedding of the summer, and Kaldis doesn't know if he's a personal target because of his investigation on Tinos, or the gathered government ministers and other prominent business and social leaders might be the target of terrorists. He refuses to change the wedding to a private ceremony, seeing that as a victim of terrorism.
Target: Tinos offers the best of all crime novels, combining crime and surprising twists as Siger continues to make Andreas Kaldis a realistic figure, expanding on his personal life. Those who have read the books before will appreciate the return of familiar characters: Tassos, the chief homicide investigator of rhte Cyclades Islands, Yianni Kouros, Kaldis' assistant, Andreas' secretary, Maggie, who knows where all the bodies are buried, and Lila Valdi, the woman Andreas loves, who is intelligent and provides one of the keys to the mystery. The team surrounding Kaldis brings these books to life.
However, these mysteries couldn't exist without Jeffrey Siger's knowledge and love of Greece's past and present. He includes background of the Greek War of Independence, Church history, Tinos' history, and the current economic issues of Greece in Target: Tinos. Siger's books have a richness lacking in many mysteries. Target: Tinos just adds to Jeffrey Siger's reputation as a storyteller who can bring a country, and a mystery, to life.
Jeffrey Siger's website is http://www.jeffreysiger.com/
Target: Tinos by Jeffrey Siger. Poisoned Pen Press. 2012. ISBN 9781590589762 (hardcover), 259p.
FTC Full Disclosure - I bought my copy of the book.