The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou

The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou


A compelling historical crime novel set in the Greek diaspora of 1950s London – that's inspired by a true story – The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou is perfect for fans of Sara Collins, Eve Chase and Jessie Burton.


London, 1954. Zina Pavlou, a Cypriot grandmother, waits quietly in the custody of the Metropolitan police. She can't speak their language, but she understands what their wary looks mean: she has been accused of the brutal murder of her daughter-in-law.

Eva Georgiou, Greek interpreter for the Met, knows how it feels to be voiceless as an immigrant woman. While she works as Zina’s translator, her obsession with the case deepens, and so too does her bond with the accused murderer.

Zina can’t speak for herself. She can’t clear her own name. All she can do is wait for the world to decide...


Our Review

"They have told so many lies about me. 

It's a terrible thing to be accused of a crime so dreadful to be told every day that you're lying, when you are almost certain that you are not. 

Their stories spin above my head, their words snagging in my hair. I dig my fingers in to pull them out. This morning I found black strands on my pillow. I must have tried to untangle the lies as I slept."

I knew I wanted to read this book as soon as I read the blurb. The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou is based on a true story, one I had watched a documentary on a year or two earlier. 

Zina Pavlou left her native Cyprus to live with her son in London. Once she arrives Zina is critical of the home he lives in, the way he chooses to raise his children, and his lifestyle in general. This leads her to clash frequently with his wife, and her son. So, when her daughter-in-law is found dead it seems likely that she could have killed her, especially seeing as there is some strong evidence against her, 

Eva Georgiou is a translator who occasionally helps the police out. Eva reluctantly agrees to help with Zina's case and soon finds herself questioning whether this lady is really guilty, 

Eva is appalled at the lack of compassion for Zina and the inherent racism within the judcial process, the media and the community at large. Eva does everything she can to offer Zina comfort and to ensure she is able to discuss her side of the story,

The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou was an interesting read.

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 4/5

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