THE GOD IN THE SEA with Paul Kemprecos, feature
THE GOD IN THE SEA with Paul Kemprecos, feature
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The Big Thrill Discusses THE GOD IN THE SEA with Paul Kemprecos

Book Cover: THE GOD IN THE SEAThe winter job as mate aboard a charter boat in the Florida Keys was going to be a financial boon for fisherman-diver and private detective Aristotle “Soc” Socarides. But The Fates who spin the threads of destiny had woven Soc’s life into a tapestry of their own design.

Soc may have to sell his own boat, the Thalassa II, to avoid a family break-up that could jeopardize the Socarides frozen Greek food business. The last thing he needs is to find himself in the sights of an international crime syndicate after he plays Good Samaritan to his secretive pal John Flagg. On top of that, old war buddy and Provincetown fisherman Joe Bones has netted an ancient trident he suspects may have broken off a statue on the bottom of Cape Cod Bay, and he wants Soc to prove his theory.

It seems like the perfect set-up. Soc can go into hiding in the artsy old fishing village and at the same time, repay Joe for saving his life in combat. The task looks straightforward: see what lies below the surface of the bay. But it doesn’t take long before Soc is swimming in a sea of troubles with the water level on the rise.

Author Photo: Paul Kemprecos

Paul Kemprecos

Paul Kemprecos recently sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss his latest mystery, THE GOD IN THE SEA.

Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?

The idea for building a book around an ancient object that brings its owners trouble probably goes back to my newspaper days, with a story on a Tibetan urn whose owners died untimely deaths. Even taking a photo of the urn was said to bring bad luck, as proved true when the paper tried to run the story and photo on the urn. The presses broke down for three days. In my story, the cursed relic is not an urn but an ancient Greek statue of Poseidon.

A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?

I had actually started a book that used the ancient relic concept a number of years ago, but put it aside. I felt it was an interesting theme, so when I was decided to write another book I plucked it out of my never throw anything away file!

Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?

Not really. I tend to read non-fiction while I’m writing. I don’t want to pick up something from a book and use it by accident in my work in progress. It’s also depressing when you read something really good by another author and wish you’d written it.

When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?

I wanted to create a private detective who was more philosophical than hard-boiled, and who would have a family. There had not been a Greek-American detective since Kojak, and before that, Nick Charles in The Thin Man, so I thought that was an empty space I could fill. I drew upon my own Greek roots, and in keeping with the philosophy theme, borrowed the last name of a great high school English teacher, Chris Socarides.

In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?

As Soc’s philosophical inclinations remind him, you can’t change your fate, but you can change yourself.

What can you share about what you’re working on next?

I’ve already started a book in which Soc goes to Crete at the request of his mother to help his cousin, who has been charged with murder.


Paul Kemprecos is the author of nine books in the Cape Cod-based Aristotle “Soc” Socarides private detective novels. His first novel, Cool Blue Tomb, received a Shamus from the Private Eye Writers of America for Best Original Paperback, and Shark Bait, a later entry in the series, was nominated for the same award. He was the co-author with Clive Cussler of the best-selling NUMA Files. He is also the author of two Matinicus “Matt” Hawkins thrillers, including The Minoan Cipher, nominated for a Thriller award. His short story, “The Sixth Decoy,” appeared in the Best American Mysteries anthology for 2021. He and his wife Christi, a financial advisor, live on Cape Cod.

To learn more about the author, please visit his website.



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