Agent Evangelos was thinking about the past when the call came about the severed head. As a member of Greek Intelligence, he is tasked with investigating the circumstances around the discovery of a head separated from its body on the banks of the river Evros. The river forms a frontier with Turkey which many Middle Eastern immigrants cross to get into Greece and Western Europe.
Every day immigrants are found drowned on the banks of the river and the mufti of a local village collects their bodies and buries them in a local cemetery.
Travelling from Athens to the region of Thrace Agent Evangelos uncovers a story of corruption, human trafficking and business opportunism centred on the construction of a ten-mile wall built on the Greek border with Turkey.
A local brothel called the ‘Eros’ offers a horrifying and sobering insight into the fate of women from other countries desperate to reach the apparent safety and freedom of Western Europe. The desperate plight of illegal immigrants is seen in the wider context of the European Union and its power plays with individual states.
A German Greek business man and a Russian prostitute are just two people who find themselves as pawns in a much larger game. Agent Evangelos finds himself reflecting on his own personal story and that of Greece at a difficult and traumatic time in its history. Against a background of financial collapse, social unease, rioting and paranoia he must find the truth about the severed head.
This anonymous victim is apparently of little interest to wider society but Evangelos feels compelled to uncover the story behind its appearance and if possible find justice for them. The Greek Wall paints a bleak and desperate view of recent times in Europe but also contrasts this wider picture with the intimate details of individual lives. From the troubled streets of Athens to the stark beauty of Thrace author Nicolas Verdan describes cityscapes and landscapes with equal skill and beauty. Thought-provoking and intensely told, The Greek Wall is an uncompromising depiction of our turbulent times and the many tragedies which are now unfolding on our television screens on a daily basis.
Bitter Lemon Press, £8.99, 9781908524850