The Imposter
Edmund Keeley
Doubleday, 1970

Edmund Keeley is a distinguished name in Greek studies, but this “psychological” novel gives the genre a bad name.  Read it, and looked at it a second time.  I have no idea what it’s about.

The Soyuz Affair
Stephen Coulter
Granada Publishing, 1977

A Russian spaceship lands with its astronauts dead and the CIA did it, and our hero finds out.  Good premise for the “one-man-and-a-conveniently-beautiful-woman-on-the-run” genre, but just is ponderous.  Unpleasant people with emotions that come from nowhere and go no place but spend days talking about it instead of solving the problem.

The Greek Key
Colin Forbes
Pan / Collins 1989

Attempted assassination of Gorbachev.  WWII background, UK moors, never could figure out what was going on.

The Mask of Atreus
A. J. Hartley
2006

This one does reach the heights of mediocrity, distinguishing itself from those that are really bad. And, as an Amazon reviewer noted, gushingly, it does have short chapters. So there is that going for it. Another in the Artifact-with-power-that-the-Nazis-had genre. Also add in the do-things-on-a-hunch idea - several times.

The Judas Sheep
Jan Roberts
Bantam, 1975

"Stavros Lives! Or does he?" Makes a difference as the hero might be intimate with a wife rather than a widow. But since he fell in love with her in 10 minutes, and she fell for him for no reason described in the text, maybe no one cares. Extra points if you can keep the characters straight. Or understand the title.

Colonel Sun
Robert Markham (Kingsley Amis)
1968

A James Bond adventure, nearly as badly written as those by Ian Fleming. James has no personality here at all, or none that is worth knowing. M gets kidnapped, the Chinese are going to kill Russians on a Greek island and blame it on the UK.

Paxos Tiger
Ted Simon
1989

An entry in the "Artifact left behind by the Nazis" genre where a sunken U-boat contains something that Can Change History if found by the bad guys. The rules here are that an ordinary person (with lots of unusual connections) find The Thing and everyone wants to kill him for it, instead of stealing it, or buying it from him, or denying the whole thing or simply not caring about something from forty years ago.

The Angry Hills
Leon Uris
1955

The hills may be angry but the rivers are just pissed! Hard to believe that Uris had a reputation for good writing. Man wanders around the hills of Greece while amazing coincidences occur and he thinks thoughts too embarrassingly formed to be believed.

Last modified 6/10/11; posted 7/1999; original content © 2011, 1999 John P. Nordin