Le mur grec (The Greek Wall)
“Listen to me, Lieutenant. This whole case reeks, but I don’t think I’m wrong: you’re just like me; you’re after the truth, aren’t you?”
Lieutenant Anastasis slammed on the brakes and pulled the Cherokee over, the engine still running:
“If you say so, let’s seek the truth, if not any justice.”
2010. Greece is facing an extraordinary financial crisis, struggling with austerity measures imposed by Europe, and experiencing a huge influx of immigrants from Turkey.
Agent Evangelos, who works in the intelligence department specializing in counter-terrorism, is called to a crime scene: a head without a body has been found near Eros, a brothel for soldiers on the Greek-Turkish border, frequented by agents of Frontex-the European border guard agency. And that head does not belong to a migrant.
At a time when Greece is trying to secure European funds to build a wall of barbed wire to thwart illegal crossings, the case is too sensitive. Agent Evangelos' instructions are not to dispennse justice, but to hush up the issue.
Alongside the policeman determined to find out the truth despite everything, the reader follows the police investigation while witnessing the terrible effects of "The Crisis" in Greece: prostitutes being drugged and raped in unsanitary brothels, weary and angry Greeks in the streets of Athens, exhausted migrants...
“Nicolas Verdan cleverly adresses the linguistic, religious and cultural questions that intertwine around the river Evros, acting as a border between two worlds from which particular interests benefit.
Abundant yet precise, elliptical, rhythmic, his writing plays on the thread of an ambiguous neighbouring universe with contradictory symbols: a foggy border of both Europe and conscience where the worst and the best come together.
His tale however avoids cynicism thanks to deeply human characters, and the glimpse of hope embodied in the birth of Evangelos' granddaughter.”
Anne Pitteloud, Le Courrier du 11/11/2022