The Late-Night News Paperback – 4 Aug 2005
|New from||Used from|
|Paperback, 4 Aug 2005||
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
"'Extraordinarily good'" (Colin Dexter)
"'Richly plotted, spankingly paced and socially observant noir...A satisfying labyrinth...Olympic-standard'" (Independent)
"'An entertaining novel...I look forward to meeting Haritos again'" (Sunday Telegraph)
The first in a new series of Harvill thrillers, set in Greece and centred round the grumpy but irresistible figure of Inspector Costas Haritos.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
The writing style and the character of Haritos are exactly like Athens and its inhabitants are today. It was a very nice thing to have a police mystery book as well as one that describes athenian reality. I have not read the english translation but I bet it will not have the same effect. In my opinion it is very difficult for an outsider to identify with such a greek character and for people who know Greece only as the land of sun, sea and antiquity, the everyday life of Athens, with dirt, strange weather, traffic jams might be a dissapointment. However, it is a faithfull depiction. The humor also is quite particular in some points and it takes an extremely perceptive translator to covey this in another language. Haritos is very convincing as a 50-60 year old greek man. I cannot say much about his policeman side but it binds well with what people face up to at work everyday.
I recommend it at least to the greek audience or to those who have lived for a little while in Athens.
Based in the early 1990s, it presents an unsparing picture of the problems assailing the new Greek democracy, with a background story of child trafficking from Albania helped by corrupt officials on the frontier. But the foreground is occupied by an investigation into the murder of a TV journalist just before she is going to release what might be a very damaging scoop. The Inspector's enquiries take him down many alleys, most of them blind, and lead him into several confrontations with his superior, the repulsively smooth Ghikas and the Minister, which need a combination of skill and lucky breaks for him to survive. The final solution is breathtaking, but explains one or two strange events that the reader might have picked up on and wondered about earlier.
This is the first of a series that has been recently translated from the original Greek by David Connolly, who has produced a very readable text. It will appeal to those who enjoy the traditional whodunit, and shares a world similar to Inspector Zen's (Michael Dibdin). Highly recommended.
PS For those who find Greek names confusing, the list of Dramatis Personae at the front make a useful reference.
Throughout the book, Inspector Haritos is constantly being called into his superior's office in order to grovel to one bigwig after another. He's a likable character precisely because he's not very good at playing people off each other, instead he's a more traditional cranky copper with a taste for unhealthy food and a secret informant. What little glimpses are given into his personal life aren't too pleasant. He lives with his TV-addicted wife, endures her whining requests for spending money and her fake orgasms, wishing for nothing more than a little peace and quiet to retreat into dictionaries (every fictional detective has to have a little quirk). His investigation proceeds through all the usual pitfalls and wrong turns before arriving at a shocker of an ending.
As a window into Greece, it has to be said that the book doesn't offer much of a new perspective. Athens is a glum and rainy place, and the traffic is horrendous (anytime Haritos goes anywhere, his exact route is tiresomely detailed and we are told how long it takes). Greek marriage is an unfulfilling, occasionally nasty enterprise sprinkled with unexpected tender moments, and the child is the main source of joy. The Greeks hate Albanians. Powerful media moguls and industrialists act swiftly and with cunning to insulate themselves from any imputation of wrongdoing (as it is everywhere). The media is a dog-eat-dog world (as it is everywhere). There are little glimpses here and there of how the fascist and communist struggles of the postwar era still resonate, but just a taste. On the whole, it's worth reading if one has a particular interest in Greece or international mysteries, but others will probably find it too convoluted and plodding for their tastes.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
Look for similar items by category