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The Scottish first name and Greek surname! Alex struggles to find his place in the world being neither fully Scottish nor Greek, but a confusing for him mixture of both. Added to which he has a life long 'burden' to carry, the mysterious loss of his brother years ago, plus a strong, successful mother and an independent, irratat A corrosive collision of cultures, the gregarious Scot and the family obsessed Greek combine to fascinating effect in the main character Alex Mavros.
This is an intreaguing intertwining of three disparate stories, a Second World War love story, a missing person and the mysterious local woman with a tragic past. These three strands are slowly wound together into a strong and fascinating cord of discourse and upheaval involving a fascinating cast of characters. Paul Johnston has a vivid, detailed and gory imagination you know this if you have read his Matt Wells series!
However, the idyll of the small Greek island is shattered early on and we soon realise that it is just like any 'small town' the world over, full of hateful, small minded, ignorant people, who gang up against the 'outsider', the one amongst them who is destined to be different. A wholly engrossing and captivating story of cultural differences and norrow minded local internecine factions set against an historical background of Ancient Greecian artefacts and more recent history as told by the Second World War story.
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I would recommend this book to those of you who like a well paced, multi charactered, inter racial, humanly flawed tale of simple love and outlandish greed with perhaps surprisingly! Feb 02, Simon Mcleish rated it liked it Shelves: owned. Originally published on my blog here in June After five crime novels set in a near future Edinburgh dictatorship, Johnston has moved on with A Deeper Shade of Blue. Set in contemporary Greece, it updates such thrillers as Mary Stewart's My Brother Michael as an Athenian private detective investigates the disappearance of a young woman on the remote Cycladean island of Trigono.
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One similarity between this novel and My Brother Michael, other than the setting, is that it is quickly clear that a Originally published on my blog here in June One similarity between this novel and My Brother Michael, other than the setting, is that it is quickly clear that at least part of the mystery here is connected to the activities of British agents and the in this case rather reluctant activities of the Resistance during the War.
The tortuous politics of Greece since then are also involved the detective himself is the sone of one of the one time leaders of the Greek Communist party - a similar connection to that existing between Quintilian Dalrymple and the rulers of Edinburgh in Johnston's other novels. In fact, everything you could imagine about the darker side of Greece seems to be a part of A Deeper Shade of Blue - black market antiquities, drug smuggling, extremes of sexual depravity, village vendettas and resentment of tourists - and this makes the novel rather difficult to get into.
The complexity of the background to the puzzle is not the only problem with A Deeper Shade of Blue.
While reading it, the impression gained is that it is too long, and that each chapter is too long. Something of the tension and excitement that this sort of crime story, at the thriller end of the genre, needs is missing. There is much to enjoy in A Deeper Shade of Blue, but it should move faster. Mar 11, Virginia Van rated it liked it Shelves: greece , serial-killer , Mavros quickly learns that the islands labyrinth of caves is hiding more than meets the eye, from the deaths of two young people caught in a fishing net to stolen artifacts to hatreds lasting from World War II.
The plot is at times a little improbable but Mavros is an appealing character and the Greek island setting is vividly conveyed. Feb 07, Alex V rated it really liked it. Interesting book covering parts of Greek history from a different perspective. Not sure if I agreed with it, but the story is a solid and interesting.
Quite believable. If you plan to go to Greece for a vacation, this is a better prep for the culture than a documentary of the Acropolis. Aug 24, Mark Ellis rated it really liked it. Good story. Interesting protagonist and small inbred Greek island provides great background for plot. Ex: Your phablet is a little bulky for my taste but I must admit it offers a better visual experience for Web pages than my smartphone. Marriage between a man of royal or noble birth and a woman of lesser status, with the stipulation that wife and children have no claims to his titles or possessions or dignity.
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