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The Black Monastery Hardcover – 2 Apr 2009

3.5 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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£12.99 FREE Delivery in the UK. Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571244815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571244812
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.6 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,289,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

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. -- Crimesquad.com

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

Review

A dark, disgusting, disquieting tale.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Enjoyable and surprising at times. When I predicted something would happen it didn't always which was pleasant. I liked the setting and suspense. Loved some of the more developed characters. Also liked the fact that the ending wasn't really happy nor really sad, just made you think "I wonder what will happen to them?".
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Rubbish
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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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Format: Kindle Edition
Sherez's style leans towards literary at times, perhaps even becoming over-wordy occasionally, but I really enjoyed the read. He evokes a nice sense of the Greek Island setting, and the changes some such places have endured in the past decades, shifting from history-filled rural getaways to booze and drug-filled party places for yobbish British tourists.

Nikos, Kitty and Jason are an interesting trio of main characters, and Sherez does a nice job giving each of them some substance, and creating tension, drama and intrigue both between them, and between each of them and other characters. The mystery plot bubbles away, keeping the reader interested, and overall I found it a book well worth reading.

Recommended for those that like a bit of atmosphere, history, and societal comment or insight woven into their mysteries.
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By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 1 April 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is ideal holiday reading for people who enjoy crime / whodunnit novels. The author can certainly deliver artful and intelligent prose and has a pacey delivery which suits the cliff-hanger style of the story. The plot is intriguing (a series of murders on a holiday island which recall the horrors of cult killings back in the 1970s), and the central detective is an engaging character. He obviously was involved somehow as a rookie back when the killer-centipede clut first arose; now he has to deal with the repercussions in the modern day when he'd much rather be contemplating retirement. It's a good set up and Stav Sherez delivers an above-average novel around these bare bones.

Most of the really impressive writing is contained in the prelude; if you find it's a bit arty for your tastes then carry onto the main body of the text which isn't trying to hard to be literary, and so flows rather better. The chapters are short and punchy, and tend to end with a mini cliff-hanger to keep you turning the pages.
I was fairly dubious about the female lead character, because she is a thriller writer and it always seems to be a cop-out to have one of the characters as a writer or journalist. However, my initial grumpiness passed because she proved to be a good way to open out the mystery and bring in a note of vulnerability and an interesting sub-plot.
There's also a backdrop of modern day drug smuggling, plus a mystery in the detective's personal life, and the likelihood that the lives of the main characters could be greatly affected by the outcome of the investigation. As the truth is revealed, so the level of danger for all involved rises... and the reader never quite knows who might be the next victim. It kept me reading, and I enjoyed the outcome.
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By Keyzer Soze VINE VOICE on 20 Aug. 2009
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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. He meets and becomes involved with some undesirable drug dealers and pushers when he arrives on the island and pours his heart out to them. There is an undercurrent of uncertainty over whether they will drop him in it with her. Her first introduction to the island is finding no taxi, having to walk through the dark streets to a hotel and being mugged and then rescued by him.

Kitty and Jason grow close through an unfolding story of a copycat murder on the island from years before. There are centipedes stuffed in mutilated bodies, a mysterious cult in the mountains and an underground labyrinth and disappearing priests. This is a very dark story indeed.

I found it difficult to like any of the protagonists, although Stav Sherez managed somehow to turn Jason, the stalker into a more sympathetic character through the course of the book (not an easy switch really). He also revitalised the worn out writer that Kitty had been by making her into a 'real life' investigator of the mystery of the black monastery. But I was disappointed in the rather depressed detective Nikos, who was investigating the crimes but given the hidden secret of his wife, it is not too surprising that he was depressed.
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