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The Black Monastery

Stav Sherez

The Black Monastery is a dark and compelling stand-alone crime thriller set on the Greek island of Palassos.

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People used to come to the small Greek island of Palassos for the historic ruins. Now they come to take drugs and party all night. But the horrific ritual murder of a boy in the grounds of an old monastery brings back memories of two similar deaths in the mid-1970s, and of a mysterious cult who once dwelt in the island’s interior, memories the island has tried hard to forget.

As Nikos, the police chief who has been persuaded back to his home island for the final years of his career, begins his investigation, two Brits arrive on the island: the bestselling crime writer Kitty Carson, on a break from the pressures of work and her strained marriage, and Jason, an aspiring writer with a secret of his own. When a second body is discovered – further endangering the island’s lucrative tourist trade – these three characters are thrown together, as the gruesome secrets of the past begin to emerge.

Brilliantly paced, and featuring a memorable cast of characters, The Black Monastery is a blistering portrait of paradise gone wrong.

Critic Reviews

A complex tale of greed, guilt and lust.

Sunday Telegraph
Critic Reviews

Works like a charm... the evocation of place is wonderful, the themes - guilt, greed, and the islanders' suspicion and dislike of the tourists on whom they depend for their living - expertly handled, and the Indiana-Jonesy ending spectacular.

Laura Wilson, Guardian
Critic Reviews

A dark, disgusting, disquieting tale.

Literary Review
Critic Reviews

Brilliantly conjures the claustrophobic atmosphere of a small island at the height of an intensely hot summer. ..The menace is palpable.

Daily Express
Critic Reviews

A dark and compelling crime thriller which slowly unwinds the many strands of a murky, blood-streaked mystery - while also managing to graph the desecration of a former paradise ... a thumping good read.

Irish Examiner
Critic Reviews

Atmospheric, faultlessly written, perfectly paced and thought-provoking... this is a story of regret, secrets and revenge ... The Black Monastery is a thriller of the highest quality. Stav Sherez's prose is at turns terse and lyrical and every word is in exactly the right place.


Stav Sherez is the author of The Devil’s Playground (2004), described by James Sallis as ‘altogether extraordinary’, and which was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger Award, The Black Monastery (2009) described as ‘spectacular’ by Laura Wilson in the Guardian,and two novels in the Carrigan and Miller series, A Dark Redemption (2012) and Eleven Days (2013), both of which…

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