Stavros Christodoulou was born in 1963 in Nicosia, Cyprus. He studied law in Athens but has never practised the legal profession since by the end of the 1980s he had already dedicated himself to journalism. He has worked as managing director of various magazines in Greece and Cyprus and currently works for the leading Cypriot newspaper Phileleftheros as a columnist. His first book Hotel National, published by Kalentis Publications in Athens in 2016, was shortlisted for the Cyprus State Literature Prize and for a competition run by the literary magazine Hourglass. His second book, The Day the River Froze (Τη μέρα που πάγωσε ο ποταμός), published by Kastaniotis Editions in Athens in 2018, received the Cyprus State Literature Prize.
Budapest, February 12, 1985. In the bitter cold, the river freezes over and an oracle that resounds like a croak marks the birth of the newborn Janos : ‘bad seed, bad tidings’. Twenty years later, the oracle confirmed as ‘Janos the Hungarian’ is arrested in Athens as the chief suspect in the murder of the famous painter Miltos Andrianos. Could this be another crime typical of the sex intrigues of male prostitution rings? Journalist Stratos Papadopoulos begins to unravel the thread of history, probing into parallel lives whose paths cross at times in the margins of Athens’ new realities: a 60-year-old widow involved in a love affair with the Hungarian man, his wife who gives birth to his son, the offspring of a powerful political family associated with the painter, a secretive police officer and a shady figure from the underworld. In Stavros Christodoulou’s novel no one seems above suspicion, while the truth hides in the details, as is often the case. As the mystery unfolds, the grey waters of the Danube carry with them the stories of those whose only desire was to be loved.