Review: The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou by Eleni Kyriacou

Title: The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou

Author: Eleni Kyriacou

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Head of Zeus

The Blurb

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…


The Review

This is quite possibly my book of the year.

The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou is based on real life events and is about the justice system in Britain post-WW2. Zina Pavlou is a Greek Cypriot who has come to England to live with her son and his wife. During her time in England she struggles with the new way of life, not understanding the language and mostly not getting on with her daughter-in-law. However, when she gets accused of a heinous crime things become decidedly worse.

This story is a fascinating read that makes you question what it is that you think you know. Told from two different perspectives with a non linear timeline you are left really unsettled.

The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou is a fantastic story.

The Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou by Eleni Kyriacou is available now.

For more information regarding Eleni Kyriacou (@elenikwriter) please visit

For more information regarding Head of Zeus (@HoZ_Books) please visit their Twitter page.

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