An old and very successful acrobat of international renown, Billy Blue has retired to one of the fancy and secluded suburbs of Athens, where he lives in utter loneliness, contemplating the glories of his youth and worrying about his old age. One day, he receives an unexpected visit from a young man, who, claiming to be his son and having just lost his mother, proceeds to move into the old-fashioned villa. The “son”, Angelos Angelou, whom many consider slow-witted due to his naivete, begins to find work as a gardner at the local estates. Soon, the young man begins to spread the rumor that the area is being watched, a fact which causes panic among a number of the residents and which enrages other “shady” characters, leading them to pursue him ruthlessly. It is then that Billy Blue realizes that he harbors tender feelings for the boy, who has noone else in the world. Just as he begins to wonder if Angelos really is his son, the retired acrobat places his own life in danger in order to save the boy. In the end, Billy Blue becomes a self-taught detective in order to get to the bottom of this affair; and even though he uncovers an unpleasant truth in the process, he once again regains his zest for life. The book is a parody of a detective thriller, and, using black humor, adeptly broaches such issues as modern life in the suburbs, loneliness, alienation and the absence of meaningful human relations.
The sudden discovery that he has a son makes a retired acrobat see everything and everyone around him in a completely new light. The Son of Billy Blue by Neni Efthymiadi shows how a person can discern the true meaning of life and demand the right to insist on their own choices, even when they are under extraordinary pressure.
In her latest book, the author balances the plot of a mystery-thriller with the development of existential concerns. Carefully crafting the psychology of her characters, she uses that as the foundation on which to build up suspense. A tantalizing element of mystery that surrounds most of the heroes' actions feeds the reader's desire to learn their well-concealed motives. This tightly knit story rendered with lots of humour leads to a gentle, convincing catharsis. (www.ithacaonline.gr)