The Destroyers

Written by Christopher Bollen

Review written by Andrew Hill

A former Customs and Police Officer, Andrew Hill is just putting the finishing touches to the first book in a crime series set in the New Forest, where he lived for 30 years. An avid reader across the crime genre and regular at Crimefest, he now lives in West Sussex and works in property.


The Destroyers
HarperCollins
RRP: £14.78
Released: June 27 2017
HBK

A bomb exploding in a popular taverna on the Greek island of Patmos, killing locals and tourists alike opens this intriguing and timely novel

Striating the narrative, Bollen explores prescient geopolitical themes such as the flow of asylum seekers from the troubled areas of the Middle East, the widening gap between ‘the haves and have nots’ in society, family and friendships in a financially corruption and damaged Greek economy.

Whilst the central character Ian Bledsoe forms the spine around which this fleshy tale is spun - he is a conflicted and by no means altruistic ‘hero’. He’s also estranged from his well-off family and way down on his luck.

When his father dies he sees one last chance to visit (and examine) the family coffers, then makes a run for it, heading to Patmos and a welcome from his old school friend, Charlie Konstantinou.

Ian’s family is comfortably well-off, however Charlie’s family (owners of a Cypriot construction firm with deals all over the world), make Ian’s appear like paupers.

Charlie seems to be living an idyllic life on the island with former actress Sonny and her daughter named Duck. In their company is Miles, an old British acquaintance of Charlies and Ian. It seem he has an unrequited passion for Sonny. Throw in Charlie’s cousin and various characters who work for Charlie and you have a smorgasbord of intertwined relationships spinning around Charlies and his business interests.

Some may know that Patmos is where the apostle John, wrote Revelations and is home to the Cave of the Apocalypse, so it is of little surprise that the author uses the backdrop to weave an ‘End of Days’ hippie-type cult into the story.

Shortly after making Ian his right hand man, Charlie disappears (ostensibly on a business trip to Bodrum). Two hippies are killed and Ian finds himself under pressure from many sides as the solid edifice he thought he built, begins to crumble.

I’ll confess that as a reader I felt like a lotus eater from The Odyssey; lulled by the author’s use of some delicious similes and languorous prose to conjure up the essence of a Summer Isle trying it’s best to be laid back; but all the while being led willingly to dance an ever-quickening syrtos.



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