An Aegean April: A Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis Mystery

Jeffrey Siger. Poisoned Pen, $26.95 (318p) ISBN 978-1-4642-0947-5

Siger’s ripped-from-the-headlines ninth mystery featuring Chief Insp. Andreas Kaldis (after 2016’s Santorini Caesars) combines a convincing police procedural with lurid thriller elements. When an elderly Greek philanthropist is sliced in half with a sword on Lesvos, the police grab Ali Sera, who works at a refugee-aid NGO on the island, as a handy scapegoat. Dana McLaughlin, Ali’s feisty boss, isn’t convinced. Neither are Kaldis and his tough Athens-based team of cops, who begin a tortuous investigation that must not only deal with physical evidence but also work around government corruption and the distrust between Greece and Turkey. Meanwhile, a crazed but clever assassin, who calls himself Aryan, has decided he wants to take over the refugee-smuggling racket in the eastern Mediterranean and is eliminating the Turkish gangsters who stand in his way. When Aryan returns to Greece to get rid of Dana, Kaldis and the other police struggle to stay ahead of the madman. Vivid local color, agreeable central characters, and exciting action scenes make this a winner. (Jan.)