Last Updated on June 7, 2016
The Dance if Dimitrios is the third book in the Detective Chief Inspector Michael Lambert crime mystery series by the author Patrick Brigham.
In the first book of the series called Judas Goat when Michael Lambert made his appearance for the first time, he was a chief inspector with the Thames Valley Police Authority. In Dance of Dimitrios we meet Lambert again, this time, however, working for the Europol (the European FBI) as a DCI – detective chief inspector.
He is a middle aged man who is now divorced and newly in love with another woman who is living in Italy. Sadly the complex cases he is given from Europol make it quite difficult for him to have time to actually savor this new relationship fully.
The latest case that gets thrown in his lap takes him to Greece, to a small village where a case of mistaken identity and police corruption successfully obfuscated for a whole year any attempt at solving the crime of a murdered English woman, a relatively famous book author, who first was thought to be but a poor Middle Eastern immigrant.
While the case was initially thought to be solved (and there I almost shed a tear, it was so sad, but I won’t give any spoilers here), Elektra Boulos, a police officer and an old acquaintance of Lambert, just couldn’t let the case go. She pursued leads, interviewed local and just wouldn’t give up until the truth came to light about the crime.
The poor woman whose body was found the year before floating in the river was not an immigrant Muslim afterall, but Marjorie Braithwaite, a British woman living in the village, who turns out to have been in fact murdered.
Elektra sends all the information to her old friend Michael Lambert and asks him for his help. Once it was proven that indeed the woman is British and Europol had reason to intervene, Michael Lambert makes the trip to Greece and starts to investigate the strange crime.
From here things take some weird turns and the authors knows how to keep us in constant suspense. Red herrings abound and we are led to believe several times that finally the killer has been named. Suspects are plenty – from neighbors to jealous and angry fellow book authors, all the way to Al-Quaeda and its sympathizers.
What starts off as a simple crime investigation soon takes us on a journey to Middle East, getting us involved in espionage, intrigue, bad blood and so much more. The crime novel becomes a complex thriller before we even realize it.
Besides the actual storyline, what also drew me to Patrick Brigham’s book is his narrative, his descriptions of people and places in Greece (and even Cyprus, the very island I am living on). There is a poetic fluidity to the words that takes you on a journey to a country that is beautiful, yet also very conflicted from within. And more often than not, the image the author projects of Greece is in fact the very true one (as sad as it is at times).
Towards the end of the book I had a feeling that this will be the last case for Michael Lambert, but the very ending in the epilogue told me that there is at least one more book to look forward to.
I have so far read book #1 and #3 of the series and there is enough background information about the main characters that I didn’t find myself at a disadvantage for not having read the second book. They can be all read as standalones, so you can pick The Dance of Dimitrios and work your way back to the first one in the series, Judas Ghost, if you so choose.