"Consequences unfold slowly, if at all, and characters accept them stoically or with good-humored resignation or silent suffering or secret relief."Magnan set his novels in rural France; Zouroudi sets The Messenger of Athens on a small Greek island. Her languid storytelling suggests a languid pace of rural life, with dark secrets emerging only slowly, and everyone getting the chance to relate events as he or she saw them.
Into this slow boil comes an investigator from Athens by the name of Hermes Diaktoros (the same name as the messenger of the Olympian gods), sent to investigate a death the locals insist was a suicide. The ancient Hermes was supernaturally strong and wore winged shoes; this one's epithet is "the fat man" and, though he stirs things up in ways some residents don't like, he's content to adopt the leisurely local pace, albeit with the occasional sly joke at which only he smiles.
I'll see how the mystery unfolds. In the meantime, I like this protagonist.
© Peter Rozovsky 2011