Title: The Invisible
Author: Peter Papathanasiou
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: MacLehose Press
Publication Date: 1st September 2022
Burnt-out from policework, Detective Sergeant George Manolis flies from Australia to Greece for a holiday. Recently divorced and mourning the death of his father, who emigrated from the turbulent Prespes region which straddles the borders of Greece, Albania and North Macedonia, Manolis hopes to reconnect with his roots and heritage.
On arrival, Manolis learns of the disappearance of an ‘invisible’ – a local man who lives without a scrap of paperwork. The police and some locals believe the man’s disappearance was pre-planned, while others suspect foul play. Reluctantly, Manolis agrees to work undercover to find the invisible, and must navigate the complicated relationships of a tiny village where grudges run deep.
It soon becomes clear to Manolis that he may never locate a man who, for all intents and purposes, doesn’t exist. And with the clock ticking, the ghosts of the past continue to haunt the events of today as Manolis’s investigation leads him to uncover a dark and long-forgotten practice.
I loved The Stoning, which was the first book in this series featuring DS George Manolis and The Invisible, although quite different, was just as compelling. The story moves from Australia to Greece as Manolis, suffering from ptsd, travels to his deceased father’s birth country in an attempt to connect to his heritage and recover. However he immediately finds himself looking for a missing man, Lefty, whom he is familiar and friendly with. Lefty is an ‘invisible’ – a man who lives completely and utterly off the grid without a single piece of documentation. This leaves Manolis struggling to find someone who, officially at least, doesn’t exist.
The Invisible is more of a slow burn, slightly meditative mystery that is as much about the place Manolis finds himself as it is about the case he decides to unofficially investigate. I was fascinated to learn more about the Prespes region and it’s traumatic history in both World War Two and the Greek Civil War, a history of which the ramifications are still being felt in this evocative novel. Manolis is a great layered character who carries the story beautifully and I am looking forward to more instalments featuring him in the future. The Invisible is an engaging and immersive story with a particularly strong sense of setting that I would highly recommend!
Huge thanks to Corinna Zifko and MacLehose Press for having me on the tour and sending a copy of the book. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.
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