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Born in Berkshire, England to an old Reading family, after attending an English Public School and a stint at college, the author Patrick Brigham went into real estate. After the economic crash of 1989 he licked his wounds, wrote two books and in 1993 decided to finally abandon London, the UK's casino economy and moved to Sofia, Bulgaria. The natural home of political intrigue, Communism and the conspiracy theory, Bulgaria proved to be quite a challenge, but for many of its citizens the transition was also very painful. Despite this, Patrick Brigham personally managed to survive these political changes and now lives peacefully in Northern Greece, writing mystery novels. A writer for many years, he has recently written four 'good' crime fiction books, including, Herodotus: The Gnome of Sofia, Judas Goat: The Kennet Narrow Boat Mystery, Abduction: An Angel over Rimini, and finally The Dance of Dimitrios. Confirming that the truth is very often stranger than fiction, Eastern Europe has proved to be Patrick Brigham’s inspiration for writing good mystery books. Much of his writing has been influenced by 20 years spent in the Balkans and the plethora of characters in his writing, are redolent of many past communist intrigues in Bulgaria.
Recently Patrick has delved into literary fiction, with his new book, Goddess of The Rainbow, a very Greek story involving a rain deluge, and how flooding changes people, moves the finger of fate, and causes us to reflect on our lives. A series of short stories, they all happen in the Greek town of Orestiada. Stories which simultaneously interlink and become a part of the whole, center around Iris – the local DHL courier – who in Greek mythology is not only Goddess of The Rainbow, but also the Messenger of The Gods, thereby connecting the individual tales of this sixteen chapter book. All that and more; stories which come so beautifully together in the last chapter –fascinating and enchanting – which can be read and enjoyed individually, but put together, serve to make the whole novel greater than its component parts.
on Feb. 12, 2016 :
The Dance of Dimitrios
Evros Editions, 2016
The third time out for DCI Michael Lambert, whom we have followed on his detective work in two of Patrick Brigham's previous crime novels, as Europol's Lambert is brought into a case that is prefaced with the personal descent into tragedy of the title character, and then what seems to be just another death of a woman trafficked through illegal migration - a death that would be meaningless to a largely uncaring world and the dubious chief of police in a countryside Greek small town community.
But the dead woman is somewhat less than a statistic, but the engine of the piece as it becomes clear she was a cantankerous British expat retiree whose career had spanned international journalism - with some significant espionage on the side, and a later-life pursuit as...a crime novelist. The journey of Lambert, partnered again with noble Greek police officer Electra Boulos, spans from Greece to Sofia's capital Bulgaria, to Turkey and to strained conversations between straight-arrow former army officer and latter-day Europol detective Lambert and a snooty guardian of Britain's intelligence establishment.
Brigham assembles quite an ensemble of characters, well-drawn and credibly portrayed each in their own way, from - among others - the police of various countries to the ruthless and amoral denizens of the worlds of people-trafficking and terrorism, to unfold by careful degrees his tale that progresses steadily from a world that hints to that of Zorba to a real world of the worst perils of the 21st century. And not, by the way, without a few humorous sidelights about the world of books and publishing.
The author of his previous Judas Goat: The Kennet Narrow Boat Mystery, and Abduction: An Angel over Rimini, has us engaged all the way, with a final tease as to Lambert's future. After the enthralling enjoyment of The Dance of Dimitrios, one can but hope that we shall be following Lambert's footsteps at least once more.
- Clive Leviev-Sawyer, Editor-in-Chief, The Sofia Globe
(reviewed 30 days after purchase)