Bones of the Dark Moon, by Richard E. Lewis
315 pages, with a 4.9-star rating from 17 reviews
Eat. Pray. Murder.
The Island of Bali isn't the peaceful paradise guide books and Hollywood movies make it out to be.
Just ask Reed Davis, the Ancient Expat of Ubud. Resident in Bali for most of his life, he made his first fortune selling Balinese hair to American wigmakers. Rumors swirl that he was a CIA spy involved up to his devil eyebrows in the mass massacres of 1965, in which tens of thousands of Balinese were systematically killed by other Balinese. The rumors say he bought and sold the hair of female victims.
Tina Briddle, a Stanford anthropologist on research sabbatical in the seaside village of Batu Gedé, is disturbed by these rumors, but she's writing a paper on the 1965 massacres and needs to pick Reed's brain. In particular, she wants to ask him about the Indonesian Women's Movement and the shattered skulls dug up on the beach close to where she's staying.
Go ask your questions in Batu Gedé, he says. That's where it started, the trickle that turned into a sea of blood.
So she does, first with the landlord of the villa she's rented. In 1965, Nol's schoolteacher father was abducted and killed, his body never to be found. Tina discovers that Reed had an affair with a cadre of the leftist Indonesian Women's Movement. In the aftermath of a failed coup in 1965, killing teams hunted these women with particular viciousness. Had she been killed on the Batu Gedé beach? Is one of those recently discovered skeletons her remains?
What happened on that sleepy beach isn't all dusty memory. Tina's persistent curiosity rouses old animosities that have never healed. Secrets are revealed, vengeance is unleashed, and a forbidden love flares to life once more.
Meet the Author
Such was the "paradise" island of Bali in 1965. During a time of violent political upheaval, an estimated 80,000 Balinese, or 5 percent of the population, was butchered by fellow Balinese. As a nine-year-old son of American missionaries, Richard E Lewis was an eyewitness to those massacres and to the effect they had and still have on his neighbors and friends. In Bones of the Dark Moon, he tells the story like few can. Arguably the most traumatic cataclysm of Bali's rich and fascinating history, the massacres of 1965 remain mostly unknown to the island's visitors. Interweaving historical drama with contemporary Bali life, Bones of the New Moon is a compulsively readable page-turner.
Richard is the author of four popular books for young adults, including The Flame Tree, Monster’s Proof, The Demon Queen and The Killing Sea (Simon & Schuster 2006), about a family who are in Indonesia when the 2004 tsunami struck. With Bones of the Dark Moon, he returns to fiction for adults, drawing from his own life experiences.
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