Patrick Brigham was the Editor in Chief of the first English Language news magazine in Bulgaria between 1995 and 2000. As a journalist he witnessed the changes in this once hard core Communist Country and personally knew most of the political players, including the old Dictator Todor Zhivkov and his successors Zhelev and Stoyanov. Traditionally a hotbed of intrigue and the natural home of the conspiracy theory, Bulgaria proved to be quite a challenge and for many the transition into democracy was painful. Despite this, he personally managed to survive these changes and now lives peacefully in Northern Greece. A writer and journalist for many years, he has written a number of short stories and articles which might be better described as light hearted, whilst confirming that the truth is often stranger than fiction.
The Dance of Dimitrios is a mystery novel that mixes some of the horrors of illegal immigration with everyday events. DCI Lambert, who works for Europol - the European equivalent of the FBI - is sent to Greece in order to solve a cold case. Detective Chief Inspector Mike Lambert knows about people trafficking and the problems it causes governments throughout the world. Greece is the gateway into Europe for countless Middle-Eastern migrants, political refugees and terrorists.
The story involves the discovery of a woman's body found floating in the River Ardas in Northern Greece. Believed to be of Middle-Eastern origin, she is buried in a communal grave along with other Islamic victims of drowning and promptly forgotten. When it is later revealed that she is actually an Englishwoman called Marjory Braithwaite - who has been living for some years in Greece - the British government turns to Europol for help. Realising that this probably means murder, DCI Lambert is dispatched to Greece.
Detective Chief Inspector Michael Lambert has left the Thames Valley Police Authority and is now working for Europol as a front-line Europol Liaison Officer at The Hague. He has left England and, because of his recent divorce, now lives permanently in his holiday villa in the Calvados region of Northern France.
In An Angel over Rimini, his first case for Europol involves the abduction of a little English girl from a camp site in Riccione in Italy. It is a cold case, which has been re-opened due to public pressure, the intervention of the British government and the agitation of leading English newspapers.
DCI Lambert goes to Rimini to help the State Police re-investigate the kidnapping of little Penelope Scratchford, only to find that the investigating authorities are quite determined to blame the parents for her disappearance and murder. It becomes clear – as his investigation progresses – that there are too many unanswered questions and that much of the evidence has been ignored by the original investigating officer, Vice Inspector Daniel Bosola.
Whilst in Italy, DCI Lambert also finds time to catch up with his father’s mysterious past, during his wartime service in Bari as an RAF officer in a Pathfinder Squadron. This reveals some interesting, if not spectacular, revelations about his father’s secret wartime exploits and his peccadillos too! For Michael Lambert it is also an awakening, and romance in the shape of Countess Beatrix d’ Aragona finally brings the Europol detective back to life emotionally, somehow blotting out the past and his sterile marriage to Arabella.
Continuing his pursuit of the missing English girl, his investigations take him to Greece and the established smuggling routes through the Evros River delta up into Bulgaria. In Greece he discovers the horrors of organised illegal immigration, people trafficking and the gangsters involved. He also finds out that these established smuggling routes are Al Qaida’s way into Greece and the EU.
In his travels he comes across corrupt lawyers and orphanages in Bulgaria, but in so doing he also manages to pinpoint an established child trafficking trail which ultimately leads him back to Central Europe. The discovery of an illegal child adoption group in Hanover,the criminals who operate it, and the information gleaned during his trip through Bulgaria help DCI Lambert to learn if little Penny Scratchford is alive or dead.