This wasn’t a read but a ‘listen to’ – I chose the the unabridged audio version of this book . The author weaves a story with greed, avarice and dishonesty at its heart, and yet set in an idyllic way of life that has its roots stretching back a couple of millenia. We have the gentle bee keeper and long time friend of her hero, the barber who only cuts enough heads of hair each day so he can indulge his passion for sea fishing. She tells of a simple rural life, with people who have time to savour what life gives them, be it freshly caught and cooked fish flavoured with herbs, or locally produced wines.
We have a bee keeper knocked down and killed in a hit and run accident, the embittered builder and developer always out to make money at someone else’s expense, corrupt officials with scant regard for the laws of the land. Stir into this mix a police sergeant who is not corrupt but likes a quiet life, and his rookie side kick who is badly troubled with a bout of conscience, and you have the makings of a fine and gripping story. Into this mix we can stir ‘The Fat Man’.
Her unlikely hero, Hermes Diaktoros, she refers to him throughout as ‘The Fat Man’, is unquestionably an enigma. In turn he has a luxury yacht, properties spread through Greece, untold resources but drives an idiosyncratic Greek car, a Namco Pony. He works with, but not for the police. He works with, but not for, various government departments in Athens. He has a passion for wearing simple white tennis pumps, which he always keeps immaculate by using a bottle of whitener kept in his hold-all, which we come to realise truly is a hold-all.
He seems to have an uncanny ability to know what miscreants have been doing before authority finds out, and a knack of just happening to be in the right place at the right moment. He is motivated far more by natural justice than by the law, crime and punishment.
This is a cracking read for lovers of mystery drama. Needless to say The Fat Man ensures justice is done. Just how, well you’ll have to read – or listen to – the book.