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Today I’m on the ‘Fire on the Island’ blogtour, organised by Love Books Tour.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but b
About the Author :
Tim has traveled the world collecting stories and characters for his novels and screenplays which have received high praise. Fire on the Island won the Gold Medal in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition for the Novel. He won the Paris Prize for Fiction for his first book, A Vision of Angels. Kirkus Reviews called Cooper’s Promise “literary dynamite” and selected it as one of the Best Books of 2012. Tim was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize for his short fiction, “Stolen Memories.” His recent novel, The Fourth Courier received tremendous reviews. His screenplays have won numerous international competitions. Tim is the founder of the Smith Prize for Political Theater. He lives in France.
For lovers of crime fiction and the allure of the Greek islands, Fire on the Island is the perfect summer read.
FIRE ON THE ISLAND is a playful, romantic thriller set in contemporary Greece, with a gay Greek-American FBI agent, who is undercover on the island to investigate a series of mysterious fires. Set against the very real refugee crisis on the beautiful, sun-drenched Greek islands, this novel paints a loving portrait of a community in crisis. As the island residents grapple with declining tourism, poverty, refugees, family feuds, and a perilously damaged church, an arsonist invades their midst.
Nick Damigos, the FBI agent, arrives on the island just in time to witness the latest fire and save a beloved truffle-sniffing dog. Hailed as a hero and embraced by the community, Nick finds himself drawn to Takis, a young bartender who becomes his primary suspect, which is a problem because they’re having an affair. Theirs is not the only complicated romance in the community and Takis isn’t the only suspicious character on the island. The priest is an art forger, a young Albanian waiter harbors a secret, the captain of the coast guard station seems to have his own agenda, and the village itself hides a violent history. Nick has to unravel the truth in time to prevent catastrophe, as he comes to terms with his own past trauma. In saving the village, he will go a long way toward saving himself.
A long time devotee of the Greek islands, Smith paints the setting with gorgeous color and empathy, ushering in a new romantic thriller with the charm of Zorba the Greek while shedding bright light on the very real challenges of life in contemporary Greece.
The old man removed a suit coat from a hook and slipped it on. “Welcome,” he said, extending his hand to Nick.
“You are the mayor?”
“We have no budget for a gardener, but the roses do not stop growing. So why have you come to Vourvoulos at this time of year? Most tourists have already left.”
Nick reached into his daypack and passed him an envelope. “Did you write this letter?”
The mayor, fingering it, smiled conspiratorially. “I wasn’t sure if I sent it to the right place.”
“You did,” he assured him, and flashed his badge. “Nick Damigos, FBI.”
“You came all the way from the FBI to help us?”
“Actually, I’m posted to Athens. We have agents in every country that plays a strategic role in terrorism, human trafficking, or refugees, and Greece has a problem with all three.”
“That’s not a very honorable distinction.”
“It’s a function of your geography, and it’s America’s policy to help Greece however we can.”
“America helped our island in the past,” the mayor told him. “After the second world war, during Greece’s civil war we were a communist island, and still Americans gave us food. It saved many lives, including my father’s, and I was not conceived yet so I have always been especially grateful.”
“Saving lives is why America wants to help again. Unfortunately Turkey is threatening to open the refugee floodgates. There could be a thousand refugees arriving here every day. Your Coast Guard station is too strategically located to be put out of commission for even one day.”
“Greece would be a happier country if it were in a less strategic place.”
“Then you wouldn’t have had Homer. Or the Trojan War, which brings up the other reason why the ambassador wants the FBI to help. Do you know what ISIS is?”
“Yes. Islamic State.”
“It’s threatened to mix jihadists in with the refugees. Maybe not in a Trojan horse but on a Trojan raft. If there’s any evidence that’s happened, the Coast Guard is going to play a much bigger role in intercepting and processing refugees before they’re allowed into the country. If the station is destroyed, it’s almost guaranteed that ISIS will flood this route with jihadists.”
“So let me understand correctly,” the mayor said. “You want to keep the Coast Guard in operation, so you oppose moving the fuel tank?”
“I want to stop the arsonist.”
The Magic of Wor(l)ds