American Jeffrey Siger (photo) lives on the Greek island of Mykonos and writes fast-paced mystery thrillers. His books explore serious societal issues confronting modern Greece, while touching upon its ancient roots. His writing has been called “international police procedural writing at its best” (Booklist, starred review) and the City of San Francisco recently honored him for his “acclaimed books” that have “inspired political change in Greece.”
Never, though, did this Pittsburgh-born, long time New York City lawyer anticipate that his work would be considered “prophetic.” That’s what the Greek press has called his latest novel, Assassins of Athens (Poisoned Pen Press 2010). It is a Miami Vice-paced mystery set in contemporary Great Gatsby Athens that captures in vivid, believable detail both the dark quarters of central Athens and the gilded northern suburbs and island playgrounds of the super-rich. It is an exploration of long-standing societal frictions that today breed rage, revolutionaries, and political realities once thought unimaginable.
Assassins of Athens was published in Greek in Greece one year ago, and contained an ominous ring for what Athens confronts today:
‘What this country needs is leadership, not more terrorists. How many Greeks love their country? Answer, all of them. How many love their form of government? Answer, most of them. How many love their politicians. Answer, none of them, not even their mistresses can stand them. Why is that? Do I really have to tell you? Because they’re all alike. Name one who ever has gone to prison for corruption? The people have no faith in their politicians and have given up on finding better ones …
‘Greek children are rioting alongside their parents in the streets. Widespread vandalism, arson, and assaults on police are dismissed by our government as ‘democracy’ in action, and law-abiding Greeks, who once watched such protests in horror and disgust, now call the demonstrators justified! Our countrymen are sick of their politicians and their parties. They want a new beginning and they want it now. They know it can happen, no matter how unrealistic it might have seemed at other times, for they have seen the impossible happen in the United States. A black man elected president. But it requires a fresh leader to emerge, one who can unite the left and the right, the rich and the poor, under one political banner and offer new hope for our beloved Greece’—and the promise of ultimate power for [the speaker].”
What makes those words particularly chilling is their speaker—a revolutionary at the very heart of Athens’ organized, hooded violence.
Jeffrey Siger’s first book in his Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis series, Murder in Mykonos (Poisoned Pen Press 2009), was the #1 best selling English-language book in Greece. Siger has just completed his third in the series, Prey on Patmos, set on the holy island of Patmos where St. John wrote the apocalyptic Book of Revelation, to be released in the US in January 2011.
The novels are also published in Greece (Aikaterini Lalaouni Editions), Germany (Goldmann/ Random House), and the UK and Commonwealth countries (Piatkus/Little Brown).
Jeffrey Siger was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He practiced law at a major Wall Street law firm and, while there, served as Special Counsel to the citizens group responsible for reporting on New York City’s prison conditions. He left Wall Street to establish his own New York City law firm and continued as one of its name partners until giving it all up to write full-time among the people, life, and politics of his beloved Mykonos, his adopted home of twenty-five years.