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World War II Thriller Debuts, Inspired by Author's Discovery of Family Secret

From author Nick Vellis, ‘Dig Two Graves: Revenge or Honor’ is a novel at the forefront of a genre that is rapidly becoming one of the hottest of 2014 – mysteries set during World War II. Combining two complex narratives, Vellis navigates the chaos of wartime with the skill of a craftsman and sets the stage for an exhilarating story that will have readers enthralled.


Gainesville, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/30/2014 -- While searching for information about his father’s World War II experiences, Nick Vellis stumbled upon a trove of secrets that until that moment had remained hidden from his family.

During the latter part of the war, The Office of Strategic Services (The OSS), sent uniformed units into several occupied countries, including Greece. Vellis’ father was one of those men.

Discovering his dad had been a commando in Greece lit a fire in Vellis’ imagination and the result was his electrifying debut novel, ‘Dig Two Graves: Revenge and Honor’. Vellis’ tale follows AJ Pantheras, a wealthy Miami attorney who has the world by the throat. When his father is brutally murdered, Pantheras is approached by Greek expatriate Ceres Savas, who knows more about Pantheras family history than he does.

With an intriguing mystery set in World War II Greece at its core, the buzz of a missing fortune runs like high voltage current through its pages. ‘Dig Two Graves: Revenge and Honor’ is more than just a thriller – it’s a complex war story, a modern day mystery and a moving portrayal of bravery and one man’s struggle to overcome his weaknesses.

At first, his father's murder looks like a career opportunity for AJ Pantheras but then he meets Ceres Savas. The elderly Greek shares a mystery reaching back to WWII Greece involving Lt. John Pantheras, AJ’s grandfather. As clues mount, AJ learns about his family’s past, an immense stolen fortune, and the key to his father’s death. While he confronts his own fears and greed, AJ is pulled deeper into a race against time and a pair of hired killers. With the help of the old Greek and a smart, shapely Italian PI, he tries to stay a -step ahead of death and the shadowy character who may be behind it all.

When Lt. John Pantheras and his OSS commandos parachuted into occupied Greece in 1944 they expected to work with the Greek resistance, fight the Germans and maybe even to die for their country but there is always the unexpected. John learns the Jewish population has paid a fantastic ransom to stave off their deportation but the Germans have no intention of honoring the deal. John plots to steal the treasure and plan to give it back a little at a time in return for the Jewish prisoners. John is able to evacuate a handful of Jewish civilians but then the Germans strike back. His men are forced to flee the country while John and the bulk of the ransom disappear, setting off chain of events that affects thousands and sews the seeds of a deadly mystery.

Although Vellis was inspired by his father’s background, he’s always been an avid mystery buff and felt he had a calling as an author in the genre.

“Everyone likes to untangle a good mystery, but what makes it even more special is when the good guys win in the end, and justice is seen to be done,” says the author. “And of course there was no greater tragedy than what happened to the Jews during World War II.”

Continuing, “Writing within the environment of wartime Greece, and untangling the mystery of what happened to Pantheras’ grandfather – it felt a bit like I was tracing my own father’s path and figuring out what he might have done, or felt, during that time. Our history is the richest landscape we have as writers.”

‘Dig Two Graves: Revenge or Honor’ ‘is available now from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nick-Vellis/e/B00HP4J4II

About Nick Vellis
Nick Vellis lives to read a good mystery, PI story or thriller and writing one is even more exciting. After a thirty-year law enforcement career, where he served as an investigator, crime scene analyst and crime prevention officer, he retired as a Captain. He spent several years pitching cutting edge Investigative and Intelligence analysis software to law enforcement agencies nationwide and overseas. Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Mr. Vellis was raised in South Florida, FL and married his college sweetheart. They have one daughter and a vicious twelve-pound dachshund/terrier named Peewee. Always a voracious reader and closet writer, Mr. Vellis enjoys time with his family in Florida and burns the midnight oil writing mysteries, thrillers and detective stories.