BOOK CLUB: The Invisible

Click to rate this book!
[Total: 4 Average: 5]

The Invisible by Peter Papathanasiou is an outstanding crime novel. Although a sequel to “The Stoning”, it also functions effectively as a stand-alone novel. Whichever way you read it, this is a book with depth and nuance.

But first, a small warning: this novel contains significant spoilers for the plot of “The Stoning”, the first novel to feature George Manolis. That excellent novel was also reviewed for the Beauty and Lace book club, and you may wish to read it first. You won’t be disappointed.

In “The Invisible” police detective George Manolis is still coming to terms with some of the family secrets revealed as he investigated a crime in the small Australian town of Cobb. He is glad enough, after a traumatic workplace event in Melbourne, to be told to use his excess leave. He knows he needs the break, and following his father’s death, he feels the need to revisit the area of Greece they came from.

In Greece, George’s old friend Stavros asks him to help look into the disappearance of their mutual friend Lefty. Lefty is an invisible – a person who manages to live without any paperwork or official existence. The police aren’t too interested in looking for him.

George soon finds that Lefty is a divisive character, and that not everyone in the small village where he lives believes he’s actually missing.

the invisible

The crime aspect of this novel is interesting. George can’t follow his usual investigative path, such as checking bank accounts, so he needs a different approach. This adds a unique tinge to the investigation for readers who are well-versed in the initial steps of any investigation. Being in Greece also adds an unpredictable and new element: it’s a different society, with different expectations and approaches.

There’s a lot of depth in Papathanasiou’s exploration of the isolated part of Greece where George finds himself. It’s a completely different society to ours, and the influences – cultural, community, and environmental – are wildly different. Papathanasiou builds his world with empathy and respect; although many would consider the area he’s describing backward, he never looks down on those he’s writing about. 

A large part of the novel is about George himself: his mental and emotional healing, his re-evaluation of family history, and his sinking into a new community. Although this follows the common pattern of a police officer struggling with a complicated personal life, the complications are distinctive and more unique than in many other crime novels.

The revelations at the end of the novel bring a whole new level of nuance to the book. I sat for a while, reconsidering the entire plot and almost every scene in the book in light of my new knowledge. It’s both surprising and at the same time makes utter sense in the context of what’s gone before. It’s an unexpected end to a powerful novel. Not every reader is going to love it – it’s not the classic way to end a crime novel – but I found it entirely satisfying.

The flavor of this entire novel is a little different from many crime novels. For me, that was one of the strengths of the novel – the originality and depth that this generates. Those who enjoyed Papathanasiou’s debut, “The Stoning”, will also love this.

“The Invisible” is a highly memorable novel. I recommend it to those looking for something more than just a puzzle, although most crime readers should enjoy it.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The Invisible by Peter PapathanasiouYou can read their comments below, or add your own review.

8 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Invisible


    Set in a small village in Greece, this book puts you straight into the mystery of the missing man, Lefty. With no official paperwork, bank accounts or phone records, Lefty doesn’t seem to want to be found or even exist, making him what they call an invisible in the eyes of the police.

    Manolis, a policeman himself, in search of a much needed break after an incident which occured while on the job, returns to his place of family origins. Upon arriving from Australia Manolis, unwilling to reveal his occupation, takes on a role repairing Lefty’s house.

    In his search for Lefty, Manolis discovers many truths and tales about the area and what happened in the past.

    I found this book very interesting and captivating. I especially enjoyed the nature and wildlife aspect of this story and would recommend.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Mackelhose Press for my copy to read and review.

  2. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the offer to review The Invisible by Peter Papathanasiou.
    Detective Sergeant George Manolis is on a leave of absence after an incident at work in Australia. and he decides to go to Greece. He is going to Greece his family’s homeland and hoping to maybe learn more about his family.
    George arrives in Prespes and finds out that his old friend Lefty has disappeared. Lefty does not exist according to the government, he is classed as an invisible as he has no official record. In time George discovers about the history of the region which include prejudices and secrets kept in the villages.
    They are cautious of immigrants and hold long held grudges. In looking for Lefty, George seems to realise that his friend may not be as good-natured and innocent as he seemed.
    I really enjoyed this book and found it was a real page turner. I highly recommend it to everyone.

  3. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read The Invisible by Peter Papathanasiou.

    I really enjoyed this book!

    This book is about a undercover police officer from Australia who goes to help find a friend that has disappeared and is an invisible,no paper work or records, so he’s not going to be easy to find!
    Has his shady past caught up with him?
    And can Manolis find him before it’s too late?

    I loved the different characters and their very different lives.

    This is a murder mystery with different layers.

    And I did not see the twist at the end coming!!

    Highly recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  4. There are layers upon layers to this mystery crime novel as you delve further into The Invisible. And Peter Papathanasiou very cleverly brings it all together at the very end. Such interesting history in northern Greece intertwined with fiction – I couldn’t put this book down. Recommending to all my family and friends.

  5. I love series books but they are stand alone books Peter Papathanasiou’s The Invisible is just that part of a series but great on its own.
    How do you find someone who’s Invisible no bank accounts, no paperwork no trace of him, that’s Lefty he’s The Invisible. Manolis is on break in Greece from Australia but ends up helping on this case.
    An excellent book with a surprising twist thrown in just the shake you up again.
    Absolutely Brilliant you won’t be disappointed with The Invisible

  6. Thanks for the opportunity to read this book

    I have to admit I found it a bit slow to begin with but wow did it pick up and rolled together nicely in the end.

    Love the history aspect of the story and the characters! I really wasn’t expecting that ending!

  7. The Invisible offers a different take on a crime novel. Overall, I enjoyed the story about the Australian policeman George Manolis who travels to Greece to sort through a myriad of issues.

    It really begins with a bang and ends on a similar high note. In between, the reader gets a lot of additional insights into the culture and history of the Greek region in which the novel is set as Manolis seeks to track down the ‘invisible’ Lefty. The disappearance of Lefty could be attributed to all sorts of explanations, and these are varied and fascinating but I felt it wasn’t a page turner for me.

    I wouldn’t not recommend the book to others, but I’d have say it was a bit slow in the middle (and potentially this makes sense given Manolis is in what I would call a sleepy village?).
    Having said that I am interested to read the author’s first novel, The Stoning to compare.
    Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  8. This story follows the travels of Detective Sergeant George Manolis as he heads to Greece on leave. Whilst there he starts to investigate the disappearance of his old friend Lefty.
    With some twists to the story, it delves into the underworld. I enjoyed the plot and the adventure while cheering on George to put his police skills to the test.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read The Invisible by Peter Papathanasiou.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *