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The Taint of Midas: A Novel Hardcover – July 20, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books; 1 edition (July 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316076295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316076296
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,445,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'A cracking plot, colourful local characters and descriptions of the hot, dry countryside so strong that you can almost see the heat haze and hear the cicadas - the perfect read to curl up with' Guardian PRAISE FOR THE MESSENGER OF ATHENS: 'This powerfully atmospheric mystery embraces Mediterranean passion, mythic meddling and patriarchal persecution. First-time novelist Anne Zouroudi proves a natural at the dark arts of writing Euro-crime' Independent 'In this fascinating thriller, the remote Greek island of Thiminos seems untouched and untroubled by modern life - until the battered body of a young woman is found at the foot of a cliff' Woman's Own 'Evocative and tantalizing it stars a mysterious but very likeable protagonist, the Fat Man. Stylishly repackaged for the paperback, I've a hunch they could do very well indeed' The Bookseller --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Anne Zouroudi was born in England and has lived in the Greek islands. Her attachment to Greece remains strong; the country is the inspiration for much of her writing. She now lives in northern England.

More About the Author

Anne Zouroudi was born in Lincolnshire in 1959 and grew up in England's industrial north, in the steel city of Sheffield, South Yorkshire. After a number of years in a lucrative career - which included time working on Wall Street, and in Denver, Co - she gave up an excellent job to live in the Greek islands. She married a Greek, and her son was born on the island of Rhodes.
"The truth is," she says, "I was a Shirley Valentine."

Anne's writer's eye records in fascinating detail the minutiae of the lives of the Greek people, and her mould-breaking crime novels bring Greece's timeless landscapes vividly to life. She regards her work as a labour of love. "Greece," she says, "is my spiritual home, the land that stole my heart and shows no sign of ever returning it."

Her first novel, The Messenger of Athens, was nominated for the Desmond Elliott Prize for Sparkling New Fiction, and ITV3's Crime Thriller Awards 2008.

Anne now lives in middle England, in the beautiful Peak District National Park. "It's pretty," she says. "But Greece still calls my name. At every opportunity, I'm there."

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Small on January 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
First off, I enjoy Hermes' fatness, and his fastidious (compulsive?) care of his white, white shoes. Zouroudi's loving descriptions of everything -- the good, the bad, wine, meals, clothes, and the landscape, youth, age, innocence and corruption, oh, especially corruption -- made every page a pleasure. From p. 251: "The air smelled not of the sea but of frying food; the hot sand was churned with footprints and trampled castles." Trampled castles!

Second, and without going to spoilers, I was stunned by one of the major scenes late in the book, completely astonished at a conversation between the fat man and one of the novel's most sordid characters. Just a simple conversation, but it goes where most mysteries do not, a tally of the opportunities he has for sin and redemption in a way most authors leave unspoken but here made tremendously powerful by being made tremendously explicit.

I have some questions and reservations about the denouement. Perhaps the fat man has special powers which were revealed in the first book, The Messenger of Athens: A Novel, which I have not yet read. But whether it's a strong reliance on the deus ex machina or some remarkable gifts within the fat man himself, the ending(s) may have been a bit too easy for the omnipotent author, a bit too incredible to sustain the enchantment that envelops the rest of the book. Five stars anyway; I cannot wait to get the first episode, and hope that Zouroudi hastens with the third.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mary J. Gramlich VINE VOICE on July 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The return of Hermes Diaktoros, aka The Fat Man is again a quiet, understated event that has him working with the police on a case but this time it is personal. His elderly friend was the victim of a hit and run, left injured to die alone. Hermes is going to do right by his friend and make sure that whoever did this will see justice one way or another. When you have led a long and honorable life, your death should reflect this with great respect, which Hermes will provide.

However, during the course of his investigation another type of evil rears its own face and greed is not a fickle mistress she is a controlling demon. A father and his two sons have chosen the least moral way to take over a town and control its fortune with no regard for who will perish in the wake of their desires.

Hermes travels quietly and maintains a low profile but people know he is there and the local police this time welcome his intervention, as no one else will help them resolve any of their issues. Temptation is great around the police force and resisting the easy money that seems to flow from one hand to another is a difficult thing to do for both a seasoned professional and one barely out of the academy.

Hermes is a quiet, commanding force that moves stealthy despite some girth on his body. He is determined to make you attest for your sins and let fate decide your punishment. Have fear for you will be punished for what you do in this life and the next!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Miriam Lambert on May 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read 3 of Zouroudi's novels with the fat man as the main character. Had accidently discovered the first hardback in a dollar store. AZ keeps your interest with her detailed depscriptions of the Greek islands and the everyday, and intriguing, lives of ordinary people.
I have never made the trip to Greece (that my husband promised 40 years ago), so all of her plots are kind of a trip for me.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By She Who Must Be Obeyed on May 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anne Zouroudi's Fat Man -- what a marvellous creation! This is the second Zouroudi novel I've read and her wry observations about the darker side of Greek social mores, coupled with her elegant and economical prose, make these books a joy to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mayabear on December 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Zouroudi's descriptive writing is suburb. A wonderful clean read and what a cozy should be. I love her books and can't wait for the next one
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LynnBruton on May 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Anne Zouroudi and her quasi-mythical detective. The characterizations of the locals and the historical and cultural descriptions of the Greek islands are an integral part of the mysteries and add to the overall enjoyment. A travelogue and mystery combined!
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By Deborah on June 18, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Read my review of the first book in the series, The Messenger of Athens, on Amazon.com or Goodreads.com.

In Zouroudi's second novel featuring Hermes Diaktoros, she takes on the deadly sin of greed, bringing the story of King Midas into the contemporary setting of ruthless land development. As was the case in the first book in the series, The Messenger of Athens, Zouroudi entwines Diaktoros in two distinct, but related, mysteries; I found this structure more successful here because the secondary plot was better integrated. (The only reason I didn't give The Messenger of Athens 5 stars was that I found the mystery surrounding the police chief hard to follow.) By resolving not one, but two mysteries (view spoiler), Diaktoros ensures that justice is done at both the micro and macro levels.

I received a free copy of The Taint of Midas through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
How much do I love the character the Fatman aka Hermes? These books are inspiring and character driven. Greece is lovingly portrayed in detail . Hermes is mysterious and solves problems in most unusual ways. I am happy i discovered Anne Zourroudi and having just received The Fest of Artemis and The Bull of Mithros I am content. But I do hope the author continues Hermes' adventures after the 7 deadly sins series.
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