Monica Ali’s Brick Lane follow-up never really reaches boiling point
THERE is something irresistible about a modern-day murder mystery set against the ancient sites of Greek mythology. Combine such a piquant setting with a cracking plot and a vividly colourful narrative and you’ve got The Taint of Midas, the second in the award-winning Mysteries of the Greek Detective series by the British-born, formerly Greek island-dwelling Anne Zouroudi.
The subject of this book is greed (this is going to be a series of seven books, each of which will deal with a deadly sin). For over 50 years the beekeeper Gabrills has been the caretaker of the ruined Temple of Apollo. But when the value of the land soars, Gabrills is persuaded by sinister means to sign away his interests. Hours later his friend – and our doughty detective hero Hermes Diaktoros – finds him dead and battered by the roadside and therefore becomes the main suspect. But with the ravenous, unscrupulous developers threatening Arcadia’s most precious sites, there are many nasty agents that stand to gain from Gabrills’ death, and Diaktoros is the least of them.
This is a Poirot-style investigation through the parched olive groves, with a brave, imperturbable detective who keeps numerous unusual tools at hand to deliver his memorable brand of justice. A super summer read, the merciless heat of a Greek summer practically comes off the page and the story is sure to tickle and, of course, thrill.