Forget Zorba the Greek, blue skies and white sandy beaches, dolphins cavorting off shore, bazouki music, locals playing backgammon and drinking ouzo, and dancing in the streets. The Black Monastery is a noir tale of a Greek island, the fictitious Palassos, where the murders of two boys in what seems like a cult sacrifice took place back in 1974, and where the same ritual murders are once again happening.
And why were the murders all near the Black Monastery, a structure in the interior of the island that has been closed for years and turned into a tourist venue?
The book brings police chief Nikos back to his hometown after years on the police force in Athens. He is haunted by the 1974 murders and cult suicides and wants to resolve the new cases that seem so similar to the ones in the past. Two other people are interested and delve into the mystery even at their own risk - two writers who meet on the island and become involved, Kitty and Jason.
Don't try this book unless you are really into noir. It seems very spooky throughout, but the ending and the mystery solved is very real and done by people with real motives.
You will like Nikos, the police chief, a sympathetic and well drawn character with angst about his home, his people, the visitors and tourists on a changed island, and an old crime. Compelling, gripping, and a little horrifying, Sherez has written a very different take on paradise in his novel, The Black Monastery: Paradise Can Be Murder.
Book provided by the author/publisher for my objective review.