The Hydra Chronicle
Philip lives in Astoria, New York, with his wife Astrid and teaches art at a Manhattan college. The victim of a terrorist attack while on a photo shoot over Labor Day in the Balkans, he is grateful to be alive and returns home to Astoria to learn that Astrid is having an affair. Devastated, he turns for advice and solace to the Dean of Men at his college, Ido, a close friend. Ido urges Philip to forget Astrid and get on with his life. A Holocaust survivor, Ido has spent his life tracking down former Nazis. Recently convinced he is now on the trail of the last felon, the Nazi who will lead him to a treasury of Jewish assets. Known as the Augsburg Collection, the priceless coins, jewels and gold disappeared while being shipped to South America and was last reported on the island of Crete. Ido has reason to believe the treasure may be on the nearby Greek island of Hydra. Because of Philip's Greek background, knowledge of the language and further cover of a commission to paint wild flowers, Ido sees Philip as the perfect ally and persuades him to go to Hydra. Philip finds Hydra a time warp, a step backward in history. Little has changed on the small, barren, sparsely populated island since the World War II German and Italian occupation. Convinced that Ido has sent him off on a wild goose chase, Philip strikes up a friendship with a British ex-hippie, who in turn introduces him to the motley cast of ex-patriots, would be artists and drifters who congregate nightly at The Pub, the local night spot. Philip, more skeptical than ever, sees through the phoniness of the bar crowd and turns to the locals. Among the acquaintance he makes are Francisco, the handicapped brother of a friend back in Astoria; Maria, a fiery tempered feminist; an Athenian dowager, who sees herself as the preserver of the island antiquities and an Orthodox monk. With his new friends Philip falls into the rhythm of the island and eventually is able to uncover the information Ido is searching for.