The first in the Stratos Gazis mystery series and the first time this Greek novelist is available in English.
Stratos hates being called a hitman. A conscientious fixer is what he is. He fixes problems that very few can deal with. Things that people are willing to pay handsomely to get done, without wanting to know about the small stuff. Stratos is their man, provided that his meticulous research shows him that the targets deserve their fate.
But now, in the midst of the Greek economic and political crisis, this film-noir loving assassin takes on the highest-profile case of his career. He finds himself caught between the most beloved lawyer in Greece, known as "the guardian of the poor," and his actress wife, the most desirable woman in the country. They are both in dire need of his killing services, but which one is telling the truth? Helped by three childhood friendsCostas Dragas, a homicide cop; Teri, a transsexual high-class hooker; and Maria, the passion of his lifehe discovers that truth, in shattered loves and broken families, is, as ever, a relative thing.
Pol Koutsakis, born in Crete in 1974, writes novels, plays, and screenplays. Athenian Blues is his first novel to be translated into English. Baby Blue, the sequel to Athenian Blues, is expected to be published by Bitter Lemon Press in 2018.
“This is a tasty gulp-down thriller where there are more plot-twists than courses in a hot and spicy Greek meze.” --CrimeTime
“Equal parts intense action, clever detection, and a compelling survival story.” --Booklist
“Koutsakis makes his English-language debut with an intriguing crime novel. American film noir shaped Stratos’s view of life, and Koutsakis effectively translates that half-lit, morally ambiguous milieu to seedy modern-day Athens. Noir fans will look forward to the next installment.” --Publishers Weekly
“With a narrator on the wrong side of the law who admires film noir, this dark novel will attract fans of international crime fiction with an edge. Admirers of Lawrence Block’s “Hit Man” series may also want to try this book about a killer with a conscience.”--Library Journal
“It’s hard to resist this hero, a freelance killer who describes himself as "a kind of social worker, except I get properly paid."-- Kirkus