What worries Chief Inspector Kaldis more, his inability to solve an incendiary murder or his impending nuptials?
In the middle of the night, a van has been set on fire with two bodies inside. Nearby is a charred Greek flag, and a message chained to the steering wheel declares, "Revenge or Death," ominously close to the Greek national motto, "Freedom or Death." It's a strange sight, especially on the quietly beautiful Greek island of Tinos as viewed from a helicopter by Andreas Kaldis, head of Greece's Special Crimes Division. The victims, whose identities are first established by their jewelry and subsequently confirmed via DNA, are a pair of tsigani—gypsies, who in Greece prefer to be called Rom. Modern technology has made the Rom, who have a well-earned reputation for criminality, more traceable. But that's the extent of the investigators' luck. Theories of the crime abound. Andreas, with his sidekicks Yianni, Kouros and Tassos, considers whether there's been a skirmish between criminal families or a hate crime. An outspoken Greek hotelier named Eleni even speculates that it's an attack on the church. But the team gains little traction in the investigation. Regular, baffling distractions come via Andreas' pending wedding to his longtime ladylove Lila, who requires his involvement in selecting her wedding dress...and other embarrassments. The case languishes, but Andreas' stoic persistence and more murders keep it alive. A late-summer festival on Tinos provides a backdrop for cracking the complex case.
The fourth case for a sleuth who doesn't suffer fools gladly (Prey on Patmos, 2011, etc.) pairs a crisp style with a complex portrait of contemporary Greece to bolster another solid whodunit.