A romantic getaway turns sinister.
Anthropologist Dinah Pelerin and her latest inamorata, Norwegian cop Thor Ramberg, are lolling about on the Greek island of Samos when they’re inconveniently saddled with K.D., the rambunctious daughter of Dinah’s deceased uncle. Worse, when they leave the local tavern, they come across the dead body of Fathi, who’d recently had an argument with their housekeeper’s husband. Thor immediately goes into detective mode, and before Dinah can fortify herself with a belt of ouzo, more complications pile up. First, Thor admits he’s doing undercover work for Norway’s National Criminal Investigation Service, looking into a ring of illegal arms traffickers. Second, the house he rented for their romantic idyll has stood empty for 40 years, ever since the actress who lived there murdered her sister’s husband, a national hero, and his mother and was then herself executed by the Greek junta in power. Her son disappeared into the Aegean, and her cuckoo sister Zenia, now in her 80s, is said to kill cats and cast the evil eye at everyone except the director staying with her to film a docudrama about her family. Third, the place is awash in fake antiquities and forged German identity cards, and fourth, fifth and sixth, someone slashes Dinah’s car ties, vandalizes her rental house and makes off with Thor, whose car is found at the bottom of a ravine. Dinah doesn’t know whom to trust. Everyone is bribing everyone else and switching sides at every opportunity. With a great leap of intuition, Dinah finally resolves those 40-year-old murders, faces down a passel of evildoers and reunites, at least temporarily, with Thor.
Politically savvy, but overstuffed with plots and bios of Greek deities. And Dinah (Bonereapers, 2012, etc.) could do with a verve implant.