Sunday, 17 May 2009

The Black Monastery by Stav Sherev

DATE PUBLISHED: 2009 DATE READ: May 2009 NOTES: (One of my Vine Voice choices) Kitty Carson, best selling crime novelist retreats to the Greek island of Palassos only to find herself embroiled in a real-life mystery. Two young people have been found murdered in a horribly ritualistic manner – closely followed by the murder of a local priest. The local chief of police, Nikos, leads the hunt for the killer but we soon know that he has his own secrets. The formula is as follows: - an exotic location with lots of hidden secrets - a dogged and inquisitive amateur sleuth - a policeman with his own personal problems So the ingredients were all in place for a successful crime thriller. Some of the writing is very good and the sense of place is very well developed. The main characters are well portrayed but some of the lesser characters are only one dimensional. However the main let-down was the plotting. This is overcomplicated with a mish-mash of gory murder, drug dealing, police corruption, paedophilia, and hippy cults. And the centipedes were just plain ridiculous. Lots of things didn’t quite add up so the final solution was somewhat unsatisfactory. And why do culprits explain their crimes so graphically when they are confronted by the authorities? This only happens in books – in real life they would just say “no comment”!

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