Sunday, 11 November 2012

Zone Defence by Petros Markaris

When detectives go on vacation, either they end up detecting a case in the holiday destination or forced to come back home to investigate a pressing case. When Athens Detective Costas Haritos, takes a vacation even the earth rumbles and coughs up a body. Yes. First there is the earth quake and then a corpse. A detective is never off-duty, is he?

Back home, a night-club owner is shot dead near the entrance of his night-club. Haritos takes up the case and handles both the investigations. Who murdered the night-club owner and why?

The story is like an onion (yes, I saw Shrek the millionth time recently). You peel one layer of mystery, there is another layer, you solve one, there is one more to be solved. Markaris takes us into the world of night-clubs, football clubs, politics, opinion polls and corruption in Athens.

We have our crossword crazy detective, poetry writing detective and philosophy spouting detectives. Here, our Costas Haritos is a politically incorrect dictionary reading detective. I love Haritos' wife Adriani and the way she gets her way with Haritos. I love the humour and the twists and turns. I didn't expect the ending. I look forward to reading more books by Petros Markaris.

This book is originally written in Greek and translated in English by David Connolly.

Why are noirs so funny?

Here is some wisdom from Haritos on doctors.

I don't go to the doctor's, because once you start looking, they always find something worse.

But because happy marriages thrive on contrariety, Adriani is terrified of illnesses and I of doctors.

This is my post for Crime Fiction Alphabet Z.


Anonymous said...

I always like it when detectives have a sense of humour. And as a linguist, I'm drawn to the dictionary-loving side of Haritos' character too. Thanks for recommending this.

TracyK said...

Have never heard of the author, and this book sounds interesting. Thanks for this review and the introduction.

Anonymous said...

For me both a new series and a new author, thanks for that, sounds great! Haven't read a contemporary Greek mystery book before I think - cheers Srivalli.

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora)