The Greek Villa

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Tracey is a young woman living with her father in Miami, Florida, waiting to hear if the manuscript of her novel will be accepted by a publisher. She suffers three losses in quick succession: her rich and handsome boyfriend is unfaithful, her novel is rejected, and her father, who had raised her as a single parent, dies in a car accident, possibly a suicide. After the funeral, Tracey finds an old trunk in the attic in which she discovers her birth certificate and a wedding photograph of her parents. Her mother looks very much like an actress named Urania Vickers, who used to be popular in television soap operas.

Tracey phones her literary agent, who is presently on the beautiful Greek island of Santorini, where he has a client who needs a ghost writer to revise a manuscript. Tracey is offered the job at a good salary, which she eagerly accepts especially when she learns that the client is none other than Urania Vickers. The moody, self-centered actress is a memorable personality. When Tracey arrives at the luxurious Greek villa, several mysterious characters enter the story: an old hag who gives warning of dangers to come, a young boy who knows secret passageways in the rock under the villa, and a demented woman who screams in the night. A bond of friendship gradually develops between the actress, the handsome literary agent, and Tracey. Some graphic love-making scenes, an attempted murder, and the gradual uncovering of her mother’s life spice up the story.