Escape From Smyrna
Author: Charles Gates
Top Hat Books
“Escape From Smyrna” is a historical mystery novel set in Turkey and Greece. The story turns on an ancient necklace, made up of four medieval reliquaries. Said to have healing powers, the necklace also incites greed, and in the wake of greed, violence. In a very powerful way the histories of three families (Anglo-American, Turkish, and Greek) are intertwined because of the necklace.
The story begins with four Swiss hippies on vacation. In the midst of their travels, they encounter an old chapel on a barren Greek island. They break into the chapel, and steal a gold locket that they find there. They sell the locket in Istanbul’s Covered Bazaar, where Oran Crossmore, a 26 year old American, buys it. He has recognized it as part of a lost family heirloom. He is very happy to be taking it back to his grandfather in the states.
First, however, he shows it to Leyla Aslanoglu, a wealthy older woman who is a friend of his mother’s. To his shock, she claims that the locket is a treasure that belongs to her family. Oran sets out to find the truth, along with Leyla Aslanoglu’s great niece, Beril.
The shocking truth lies in a dramatic escape from Smyrna decades earlier, and the appearance of esteemed pianist Alexandra Stephanides in Greece after a lifetime of being away.
The plot is well thought out, and moves forward smoothly. While I felt that the beginning was a bit slow, the pace did pick up, and he story was quite enjoyable. The characters were well developed, and well presented. The reader understands them, and what makes them tick. The plot is brought together with the Swiss hippies having a part both in starting the journey of looking for the lockets, and ending the journey.
Attention is paid to detail- to the details of the characters lives, and to the details of the environment, including architecture and history. If you like mysteries, and looking at human nature, you will enjoy this book.
© 2000 – 2013 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibitedin any venue without the written permission of the author.