Wednesday, June 6, 2012

"Target: Tinos"

The Greek Press called Jeffrey Siger's work “prophetic,” Eurocrime described him as a “very gifted American author...on a par with other American authors such as Joseph Wambaugh or Ed McBain,” and the City of San Francisco awarded him its Certificate of Honor citing that his “acclaimed books have not only explored modern Greek society and its ancient roots but have inspired political change in Greece.” Target: Tinos, the fourth novel in his Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis series, follows up on Jeffrey Siger's internationally best-selling Murder in Mykonos, Assassins of Athens, and Prey on Patmos: An Aegean Prophecy.

Born in Pittsburgh, Siger practiced law at a major Wall Street law firm and established his own New York City law firm before giving it all up to live and write on the island of Mykonos.

He applied the Page 69 Test to Target: Tinos and reported the following:
From Page 69:
Chapter Eight

When Andreas’ mother asked him to come along with her to the final fitting, his first reaction was, “Why me?” He knew as much about fashion as he knew about rocket science, probably less. But, his sister couldn’t come and, as the only other child in his mother’s life, Andreas went because he knew how anxious she was to look just right. His mother said she’d never bought a dress “this important” before and wanted it to be “perfect.”

Her home was not far from his office. She’d moved there as a young bride, it was where her son and daughter were born, and her hero cop husband died. The old neighborhood was unrecognizable from when Andreas grew up there. Greek was no longer the dominant language. No language was. It was a hodgepodge of languages, people, and cultures. It was also dangerous.

Andreas and his sister had begged their mother to move but she refused to leave her home, even to live among her grandchildren. All Andreas could do was ask the local police commander to keep a special eye on his mother’s place, and the word on the street was “stay away, it’s protected.” But new trouble moved into the neighborhood every day, and it took time for them to get the word.

Andreas sat at a traffic light two blocks from his mother’s place. The colors and faces passing by were very different from his childhood memories. He guessed at their nationalities. As a cop he was pretty good at that. Profiling some would say. Self-defense said others. Members of certain groups just seemed to commit certain crimes. They specialized. Cops knew that but couldn’t say so publicly.
I’m amazed at how perfectly page 69 captures the personal and professional dilemmas confronting Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis in this, his fourth Greece-based mystery-thriller. Less than a week before his wedding Andreas is ordered by his boss, Greece’s minister of public order, to arrange for the termination of an investigation into the murder of two gypsies found charred beyond recognition and chained together amid bits and pieces of an incinerated Greek flag on the Aegean Greek island of Tinos.

The Greek government fears that those in Europe who seek to deny Greece further financial bailout assistance might use the murders to paint Greeks as intolerant and indifferent to the plight of non-Greeks; a volatile, irrational, and emotional argument but one, if believed, could turn world opinion against Greece and bring disaster to the country. At least that’s what Andreas is told. He’s not convinced, and the story takes off from there.

Target: Tinos was written long before Greece’s current crisis but the issues it raised have come to pass as the country finds itself amid social and political turmoil unlike any it’s faced since the overthrow of the nation’s military dictatorship in 1974. Greece has just witnessed the electoral meltdown of the two political parties that led the country since 1974 and the election to Parliament of a neo-Nazi fringe group spewing unvarnished hatred for immigrants.

In a world where immigrants are so often used in trying economic times as political scapegoats for a nation’s failings, results can be catastrophic. That is the backdrop for Target: Tinos, a story Publishers Weekly in a starred review called “superb…a winner,” The New York Times described as “another of Jeffrey Siger’s thoughtful police procedurals,” Kirkus Reviews said is “a complex portrait of contemporary Greece to bolster another solid whodunit,” Library Journal saw as “fast paced…interesting and highly entertaining,” and Booklist wrote “throbs with the pulse of Greek culture…an entertaining series.”
Learn more about the book and author at Jeffrey Siger's website.

The Page 69 Test: Murder in Mykonos.

The Page 69 Test: Prey on Patmos.

--Marshal Zeringue