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The Black Monastery

The Black Monastery [Kindle Edition]

Stav Sherez
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

Print List Price: 6.99
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Product Description


A complex tale of greed, guilt and lust. -- Sunday Telegraph

A dark, disgusting, disquieting tale. -- Literary Review

A scorching read ... A bloody literary mystery (very bloody at times) set among the Greek Islands with not one but two writers embroiled in murky religious goings on and the usual elixir that comes with heat, sex and money. A terrific read, bursting with ideas, that leaves one jealous of the young Mr Sherez's talent.
-- Adrian McKinty, author of the The Bloomsday Dead

Atmospheric, faultlessly written, perfectly paced and thought-provoking... 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 one of my favourite living crime writers. The Black Monastery is superb; thrilling and thought-provoking in equal measure. -- Nick Stone, author of Mr Clarinet


A dark, disgusting, disquieting tale.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 444 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Crime (2 April 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571244815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571244812
  • ASIN: B0030UDWEI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #81,931 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Twitter: @stavsherez

Born in 1970, Sherez attended Latymer Upper School and the University of Leeds.

Stav Sherez's first novel, The Devil's Playground, was published in 2004 by Penguin Books and was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger.

Sherez's second novel, The Black Monastery, was published by Faber & Faber in April 2009.

His third novel, A Dark Redemption, the first in a London-based police procedural series, was published by Faber and Faber in February 2012.
It deals with Joseph Kony and the legacy of LRA child soldiers now living in London.
A Dark Redemption was shortlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year 2013.

The second in the Carrigan and Miller series, Eleven Days, was published by Faber in May 2013.

From 1999 to 2004 Sherez was a main contributor to the music magazine Comes with a Smile. He has also written for various other publications including The Daily Telegraph, The Spectator, Zembla and the Catholic Herald

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Shirley Valentine ! 17 May 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Black Monastery is a grizzly whodunit affair that spans over 30 years on the tiny Greek tourist island of Palassos. Successful crime writer Kitty needs to get away from England, her failing marriage and even writing and so lands on this once simple island, now blighted by loud bars, drunken Brits (it always us, innit!) and drugs. Unbeknown to her, Kitty obsessive/stalker Jason had landed on the island the day before with the intention of giving her his manuscript and hopefully more...

Their timing was very bad however as teenage tourists were found mutilated on the altar of the black monastery. Their genitals and faces had been removed, their bodies stuffed with centipedes, identical to the murders of two young Greek boys in the 70s. Back then, two dozen hippies who lead a largely self-sufficient life in the island's bleak interior were blamed for their murder as part of a ritualistic sacrifice but did not face trial as they committed mass suicide in their tents soon after.

Officer Nikos, a tired and disillusioned veteran of the original crimes is brought back from the mainland with his wife at the request of Mayor Petrakis to solve the identikit crime and restore normality to the island. Crime writer Kitty can not help but get involved to her own cost, followed around by the unquestioning but rather morose Jason. The more they delve into the present and past, the more dark secrets are revealed and the island's sensitive history is rewritten by the policeman's investigations.

The plot develops thick and fast, becoming quite "labyrinthine" and occasionally confusing at times with quite a large cast and you may find yourself back-tracking at times to check who's who.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read The Black Monastery after I'd finished the author's more recent novel A Dark Redemption, a path that I imagine many others will follow as Carrigan and Miller's fan base expands. There are a great many similarities between the two books, notably each has a senior police officer with a dark secret in their past and each has a plot twist requiring the characters to make a choice between two paths/trails.
The story involves our two amateur sleuths, Kitty and Jason meeting on the sunny Greek island of Palasso, a tourist trap filled with drugs and discos' where once there was fishing and farming. A series of deaths, both recent and historic confuse both the police and our heroes, who are incredibly smart and incredibly stupid by turns.
The story does tend to become fragmented at times with chunks of text with limited relevance, however for the most part it is a gripping tale. I thought that by two-thirds of the way in I pretty much had the mystery cracked but I reckoned without the Sherez multiple twists in the tale!
Certainly The Black Monastery is well worth the read and I rather hope that Amazon will issue the rest of his novels as e-books or I may have to resort to buying them on paper!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Satisfactory 20 Aug 2009
By Nick Huckle VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is Stav Sherez's second novel, "The Devils Playground" being his first. The situation here is not altogether original; Brits holidaying abroad on an idillic Greek Island confronted with murder. However, the strength of the characters, particularly Nikos the Greek detective, and the pacing of the plot kept me reading through to the end. If you fancy a good murder mystery set in the sun and sea of the Greek Islands this book will certainly satisfy.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Black Monastery 11 Dec 2009
By Customer VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When detective Nikos arrives back in his home town, he finds himself faced with the gory murder of a young boy near an old monastery. Echoing two murders committed 33 years previously in the exact same spot, and a mass cult suicide, it brings back a part of the island's history that it has tried hard to forget.There is a lot at stake - the island's lucrative tourist trade and the open secret of the drugs trade that goes hand in hand with the hordes of mainly young British holiday makers. As Nikos begins his investigation, two British crime writers arrive on the island. The best selling Kitty Carson, on a break from the pressures of writing and her strained relationship, and Jason an aspiring writer whose aim is to strike up a friendship with her and convince her to help him get published. As the two writers are thrown together in an unexpected way, another murder is committed and Jason and Kitty are drawn into an investigation of their own. As they discover more about the island's dark past what began as a diversion becomes a dangerous pursuit.

I'm not usually up for reading straight-up mysteries or thrillers, since I tend to like mixed genres, but this novel was very good. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the tangible tension that pervaded the latter half of the novel. 'The Black Monastery' was in some ways, both a thriller and a mystery: with the story well constructed and well paced.

I really liked the characters, particularly Kitty and Nikos. They were all interesting with good consistent characterisation throughout the novel -- the light touches of humour were nice also.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't put it down 29 Sep 2012
By Cutebat
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a gripping story- with a really good twist. Something a little bit different and dark. The characters were realistic and you could get to know them.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
If the book were half its length it might be interesting. It may be that I didn't find the subject matter interesting others may enjoy it,
Published 2 months ago by B F H
4.0 out of 5 stars Intrigue, mystery and horror
Cracking read. Would recommend this for any whodunit enthusiast.. Unusual setting too but a tale that moves at a good pace throughout.
Published 2 months ago by Paul O'Shea
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual Mystery
An unusual and quite bloodthirsty story - without the traditional happy ending for a change. The story, to me, was quite feasible, and of particular interest as I live in Greec.
Published 3 months ago by Ruthy Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling
This who done it kept me guessing until the end. The setting was a lovely distraction. I would recommend this book
Published 3 months ago by margaret jones
3.0 out of 5 stars An ok holiday read
A tad predictable, but provided a days holiday reading. Not good enough to make me want to seek out more by the author.
Published 3 months ago by L. J. Atack
5.0 out of 5 stars More Stav Sherez Please
Different from his other books that I have read and it took me a little while to get into the story but once I did I couldn't put it down.
Published 5 months ago by Landlubber
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Don't miss it. Fabulous wordsmith.An unusual and interesting plot. A very exciting new author. Read it in a couple of days.
Published 6 months ago by Ms. Madeline Hackett
4.0 out of 5 stars Crime thriller with an odd set of protagonists
A wannabe writer, Jason, stalks his role model, a 'published' crime writer, Kitty, to Greece, hoping to hook up with her and have her read his book. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Alison Gray
4.0 out of 5 stars Good thriller
Having read Stav Sherez's first book I was looking forward to this. It is based on a Greek Island where a policeman is looking into what might be cult inspired murders. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Harry Parsons
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable
bought this as a have handy book in my kindle collection and was pleasantly surprised well wourth a read will also look for other book,s by this author
Published 21 months ago by Jim
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