Review – SONS OF SPARTA by Jeffrey Siger

Sons of SpartaSons of Sparta by Jeffrey Siger / Poisoned Pen Press Mystery / (Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis series)

Jeffrey Siger weaves together a sophisticated plot and subplots in Sons of Sparta that drive home the historical significance of unique areas in Greece—mountainous Peloponnese, desolate Mani, and metropolitan Athens.  The non-forgiving codes of honor and vendettas among the residents of Mani who haled from pirates and highwaymen and evolved into 21st Century crime families threaten to destroy the small community. When outsiders try to buy land in the area for a hotel and golf course, old allegiances begin to falter with greed. When Special Crimes Division’s Detective Yiannis Kouros is called to Mani by his uncle—an uncle infamous for his cruelty as boss of Man’s crime syndicate—family secrets and breaches of loyalty begin to emerge.

The book is rich with obscure facts about the region that create unknown settings and homes built in Mani to serve more as fortresses than homes. The intricate political climate is fascinating and, with the physical settings, builds a complex environment that Siger skillfully walks the reader through, causing very little confusion in such a complex location and byzantine plot.

While Kouros is absorbed in the building intensity among his relatives, his boss, Chief Inspector Kaldis, is embroiled in the chaos of government corruption. His investigation drives directly to Mani and the maze Kouros is caught in. With each step they take forward, something happens to send them two steps backwards.

Reigning in his family bent on revenge is a full-time job, while trying to figure out exactly what his uncle was doing sends Kouros in circles. The good working relationship between Kouros and Kaldis quickly becomes fractured as they struggle to determine who is lying and where the truth is.

A well-paced book with interesting characters and a killer setting.

Review provided by Mahala Church for her column Barefoot Reviews in the November issue of The Book Breeze.

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