Author: Mary Stewart
Premise: The Greek isle of
Opinions: This was the first book that I read by Mary Stewart for an English class back in junior high. I was immediately hooked on her ability to spin a good tale of mystery with a hint of romance in it. Nicola Ferris, a junior secretary at the British Embassy in Athens, arrives in the Cretan village of Agios Gerogios a day early to spend her Easter vacation. As her aunt isn't expected to arrive for another day, this impetuous young woman decides to stow her luggage in a nearby ravine and enjoy a day of exploring the mountains of Crete. While enjoying a brief respite at a nearby water source Nicola finds herself ambushed by a Greek man, Lambis, who threatens her life. She soon discovers that Lambis is only protecting Mark Langley, another English tourist, who has been wounded when he and his brother Colin, stumbled upon a murder. Mark was shot and Colin kidnapped. After helping Mark survive through another restless night while Lambis returns to their boat for medical supplies and food, Nicola attempts to do as the men wish and return to the village and her vacation as if nothing ever happened. Unfortunately, Nicola finds herself thrust deeper into the mystery and right into the unsuspecting hands of the murderers themselves.
Written in 1962 it is a wonderful story that shows the strength and Independence of a woman even when thrown into unsuspecting circumstances. I love that Nicola will not willingly standby to let an injustice occur, nor leave someone wounded without leaping into help, this story reminds me in many ways of the tale of the Good Samaritan from the bible (the story actually makes several references to the same affect). Though not severely deep or maybe book club worthy, this book is a great tale of mystery and the strength of the individual, and an overall blast to read.
On a side note, I know that a few years after this book's release, Disney made this book into a movie staring Hayley Mills which is a fun movie, but definitely does not do justice to this book and changes a good portion of the characterization and story line. So if you have to choose one, definitely read the book rather than see the movie.