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Sneak Preview: “Her Own Devices”

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Tzavella st., Exarheia – Τζαβέλλα, Εξάρχεια (Dimitris Graffin) by Dimitris Graffin (flickr)

Regard this face of an immigrant girl, tenderly portrayed in restless sleep on the streets of Athens. Such children—and there are many—are the primary victims of conflicts in the Middle East and deprivations and depredations in the Global South. Greece, with all its economic problems, has borne the brunt of this influx. Compounding immigrants’ woes, self-styled Greek patriots seek to expel them like vermin, and organized crime profits by doing so. And some of these actors are one and the same.

What evil might befall this child and others like her? Geoffrey Dutton‘s gripping novel-in-progress tells of a single mother who makes it her mission to take on child predators. Call it women’s crime fiction. Can a man pull that off? Read on, wait, and see.

We’re back in Athens to finish some of what certain people in Turkey Shoot started. Swiss ex-pat Katrina has come home to Piraeus from Turkey to bear a son she names Ramadi after his late father, a child who she has no intention of raising solo. To garner a support system, the former political activist starts a floating preschool that burgeons into a network of mothers and others that grim circumstances turn into a justice league with Anna at its bleeding edge.

After chancing upon a boy’s kidnapping that her quick thinking foiled, intrepid Anna (having ditched her old moniker Katrina to reclaim her given name) takes on the culprit and his partner when Greek law enforcement fails to put them out of business. Suspecting that a police detective who grilled her is protecting the operation, Anna follows the perps home and prevails on her hacker friend Ottovio to fashion a spy camera from a smartphone to illicitly train on their lair.

Anna and her cohorts go all out in their campaign to bring the traffickers to justice. Read about their inventive DIY approach to crime investigation in both the real and virtual worlds in chapter 22 of Her Own Devices, as previewed in the February edition of The Write Launch.

Through thick and thin, Anna bravely but barely abides, deploying digital media to mobilize a community of citizen activists to confront criminality. All the while, she’s raising a precocious child whom she must shield from the harsh realities driving her obsession. For childcare and moral support, she leans on her womenfolk and on a gay comrade with whom she and Ramadi come to bond. Even so, when weeks of surveillance and sleuthing yield little actionable evidence, her resolve flags. She’s about to give up when an abduction close to home forces a showdown with her declared enemies.

So please check out chapter 22. To encourage you, here are some reactions from early readers:

  • I am bowled over by the virility of the prose, the wealth of details. Very promising. — SC
  • Anna’s detective work is compelling to read, it works well and flows nicely. — JA
  • I like the plotting and the way things are getting more dicey for Anna. — DG

Your comments are welcomed, as are other beta readers; please visit our Contact page to get in touch.

Kismet willing, expect to see Her Own Devices in bookstores and online later this year. You can follow its progress by subscribing to Perfidy Press Pronouncements, our occasional newsletter.


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