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The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou by Eleni Kyriacou : a review

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book cover for The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou by Eleni Kyriacou.  Close up of a woman's face and upper torso with a cigarette in her mouth and smoke curling

The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou by Eleni Kyriacou

  • Category : Crime
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Head of Zeus — an Aries Book (25 April 2024)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1837930368
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1837930364
  • Amazon | Waterstones | Goodreads

The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou Summary

THEY HAVE TOLD SO MANY LIES ABOUT ME.

London, 1954. Zina Pavlou, a Cypriot grandmother, waits quietly in the custody of the Metropolitan police. She can’t speak their language, but she understands what their wary looks mean: she has been accused of the brutal murder of her daughter-in-law.

Eva Georgiou, Greek interpreter for the Met, knows how it feels to be voiceless as an immigrant woman. While she works as Zina’s translator, her obsession with the case deepens, and so too does her bond with the accused murderer.

Zina can’t speak for herself. She can’t clear her own name. All she can do is wait for the world to decide…

IS SHE A VICTIM? OR IS SHE A KILLER?

The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou Review

I absolutely loved this book, so much so I raced through in about a day. The writing kept me on my toes as I kept changing my mind about who was the victim or not. A compelling read.

This story is based on a true story but it is best if you do not know about this case to not find out the ending until you have finished the book. I was enthralled with the case and felt immersed into the family dynamic.

In London 1954 Zina Pavlou, a Cypriot grandmother was found accused of murdering her daughter in law. Her interpreter Eva Georgiou becomes drawn into the case herself and takes time to get to know Zina.

I felt for Eva in this story as she feels in a way responsible for how the case is going. She is gripped by the proceedings and I felt moved by her actions at times.

As I did not know the ending, I really enjoyed this book and let the characters lead me from their thoughts and feelings.

An impressive book.

About the Author

Eleni Kyriacou is an award-winning editor and journalist. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Observer, Grazia, and Red, among others. She’s the daughter of Greek Cypriot immigrant parents, and her debut novel, She Came To Stay, was published in 2020. Her latest novel, The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou, is inspired by the true-crime story of the penultimate woman to be executed in Britain. Follow her on and www.elenikwriter.com.

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