Six characters play a tortuous game of question and answer that eventually draws the deepest, most unmentionable secrets to the surface in The Guest, by Vangelis Hatziyannidis. The author employs the mystery story as a vehicle to speak – through allegory and symbol – of the sacred nature of occult knowledge, and of the prohibitive circle that surrounds it. The protagonists seem to live in semi-darkness. Their words may suddenly acquire a double or triple layer of meaning while the events they experience can move intangibly into a completely different and new phase. The setting of the book is confined and claustrophobic. An oppressive, ominous climate gradually ratchets up the tension without the intervention of external events. Hatziyannidis creates an atmosphere of initiation and subjection, in a completely unembellished and extremely functional manner.