Character profiles

Commissaire Pierre Rousseau 
Pierre is restless by nature. He needs to be constantly on the move. If he has been sitting too long, he has a habit of getting up and walking about, or stalking about, as his ex-wife would have put it. He is separated from his wife Lisa and since the separation no longer plays tennis or indeed any sport. He had tried to stop smoking but resumed after six months and now is battling to give up again. He has a certain northern reserve and Parisian attitudes, though, happily, softened by a gentle sense of humour.

 Based in Paris, he regretted  becoming more desk bound and losing his former fitness after being promoted at the young age of 37 to the rank of Commissaire.He worked for the DST and then for the Office central de répression du trafic des biens culturels or French art fraud squad. 

In the case which came to be known as Achilles' Helmet, Pierre was appointed to head an Interpol team on rumours that a private collector had initiated researches into the ancient tombs of Troy and was preparing to open the tombs in search of artifacts. This meant joining with Greek colleagues

His immediate reaction was suspicion over whether the food and the wine in Greece would match up to what he was used to in France.He had also been uncertain how to react and to read the signs when he first met Inspector Antonia Antoniarchis, his Greek opposite number. This attractive young woman with her long frizzy dark hair down to her shoulders didn’t seem to fit the usual image of the police officer. Well tanned and fit looking, she had made Pierre feel older than he was.  He was not sure how to react to her on a personal level having not yet completely got over the ending of his relationship with Lisa.

Later, he realised that the fact she had had a career in as a university academic before joining the police, meant she would never be as institutionalised as those who he was used to working with and who had spent their whole working lives in the service. It gave her a maverick quality that attracted and intrigued him, but the strength of the mutual attraction that drew them together caught him by surprise.

Detective Chief Inspector Antonia Antoniarchis

Antonia was even less patient and even more restless than Pierre when she began her career as an academic at the University in Athens and so it was no surprise that she leaped at the chance to go as visiting professor at Berkley, California, for 2 years. Returning to Athens she was soon granted a full professorship as she rose to prominence through her research, largely funded by the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. 
Her youth, 35, and striking looks, combined with a bubbly personality brought offers to present television documentaries.  As an expert witness she had several times been consulted by the Greek Fine Art police to identify artifacts which they seized. 

Being passionate about saving Greece's heritage from the grasping hands of private collectors and smugglers, she decided that changing career and joining the Art Fraud Squad would add some extra excitement to her life and enable her to combine her love of research with the very practical side of tracking the perpetrators of what she considered to be crimes on a par with sacrilege.

On meeting Pierre  for the first time on the Achilles' Helmet case Antonia wondered about his initial awkwardness. He seemed unsettled in her presence. Did he have a partner back in France? A family perhaps?  Nonetheless he attracted her beyond the professional level. Was she ready for a new relationship? The pain of the last one was with her still.

Pierre and Antonia both maintained a strictly professional relationship at the start of the first investigation they worked on together, the Achilles' Helmet case, but in the end perhaps it was the sense of humour they shared that broke the barriers and eased the path for both of them.

DI Patrick Bruni

Pierre noticed the young Patrick Bruni(27)  when he was working in the Police Judiciare in Paris and decided to take him on as his junior. Patrick was a fast track graduate from the Ecole Nationale d'Administration and found that his colleagues in the PJ were jealous of his early promotion and success.  

When Pierre was moved to the Interpol HQ in Lyon he was happy to transfer with him since he could rejoin his partner Solène who lived there.  She worked as a high powered solicitor and had a flat in the old quarter of Lyon. Their relationship seemed more one of convenience than passion, on both sides perhaps.

In The Athenian Connection case he works closely with DCI Antonia Antoniarchis' junior DI Eleni Tsikas. He quickly falls for her and feels guilty about his relationship with Solène. At the end of the case he returns to Lyon with Eleni and goes to see Solène, only to find that she already decided to dump him.

In the third case, The Crusader's Chronicle, Patrick transfers with Pierre to Bordeaux. Once again he works closely with Eleni and they both run into danger during the investigation.
DI Eleni Tsikas

Eleni (26) is Antonia’s junior colleague. She has shortish, unusually light hair for a Greek woman, cut down to her shoulders. Eleni attracted Antonia's attention because of her bubbly personality which matched her own. But more importantly for Antonia, Eleni has a passion for catching the thieves who rob Greece of its heritage. This passion is allied to a down to earth and conscientious approach to her work. Little escapes her notice as is demonstrated in The Crusader's Chronicle case in particular. 

It also happens that she is Kóstas Chatzidákis' niece. Kóstas (see below) is an old friend of Antonia's and has assisted her in some of the more dangerous moments in the pursuit of the villains. He also takes a great interest in his niece's welfare now that her father, his brother, has died. 

When Patrick Bruni and Eleni work together on The Athenian Connection case their relationship becomes more than just professional.   

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