Thursday, April 02, 2009

Win: The Black Monastery by Stav Sherez

There are no geographical restrictions on entrants to the first of this month's competitions (there may be more competitions to come, so watch this space) in which you can win a copy of The Black Monastery by Stav Sherez which was released today in hardback.

The details on how to win a copy can be found on the Euro Crime website.

Here's an extract from The Black Monastery:

The boy lies staked to the altar. His white skin reflects the sun as if it were made of marble. The altar is made of stone. There are carvings on it, but no one can say what they mean. Experts from Athens and the British Museum spent years trying to decode them but the islanders knew it was pointless. There’s only one meaning to an altar.

Nikos scans the ground, the surrounding trees, anything to put off the moment he’ll have to look down at the body. He stares up at the sky as if looking for an answer, but it is only the sky. He stopped believing in God a long time ago. The altar is covered in orange markings, fresh and wet, daubed on the ancient stone. The skull of a cow lies on the ground next to it. Red ants and grey spiders crawl through the hatch-work of bone and tooth. Nikos’s toes curl up inside his shoes. His breath turns short and shallow. The air feels raw against his skin.

He takes a deep breath. Waits until his heart slows down. Plants his feet deep into the soft earth beneath him. There’s a trick to this, he knows. A way of cutting off everything but what’s in front of you.

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