Gary Raymond’s mystery set in Cyprus, The Golden Orphans, was released earlier this summer, and it has already garnered much attention and acclaim. Most recently, the Spectator’s crime fiction expert Jeff Noon reviewed the novel and wrote that “It’s a brilliant concept” and that the novel is “intense, unnerving and brilliant.”
The Golden Orphans begins when the old painter Francis Benthem dies and the narrator, an artist himself and an old friend of Benthem’s, arrives in Cyprus to attend his funeral. Short on money and good fortune, the narrator agrees to take on Benthem’s job working for the Russian gangster Illy Prostakov. From there on he gets drawn into a web of mystery where darker secrets lurk in the Cypriot shade.
Noon’s review, which picks out four of the most exciting newly released crime novels, is especially taken up with the international settings of the novels. Here, The Golden Orphans’ depiction of the ghost town Famagusta is given special attention. This empty town was abandoned when Cyprus was separated into a Greek and a Turkish part, and in Gary Raymond’s novel, it becomes a place of allure and mystery. The Golden Orphans is full of hidden places, hidden pasts, and hidden motives. A crime novel it is, but it also touches upon the work of artists and the power of what they do. As Jeff Noon puts it
the novel’s real concern is the struggle of an artist to express that most hidden of all landscapes: the inside of another person’s head.
If Cyprus and a mysterious ghost town have caught your fancy, be sure to use the discount code CYPRUS when you buy the book before the end of July to get £1 off and free shipping across the UK.