A very kind lady in Greece posted up an interesting review on Amazon about my latest book, Dying Phoenix , in which she said that though she loved the writing, the characters and the general story, it was painful for her to read the history of that time in Greece, a time she is probably too young to really recall and has been buried in history . . . though still recalled by many who were adults or children then. Dying Phoenix is set in the years 1966-1967. It was in April 1967 that four Colonels in the Greek Army made a swift and fairly bloodless coup, taking the country, the King and the rest of the army by surprise; In fact, so surprised that there was no real resistance and eventually the King fled with his wife and mother to England where they still reside .
The Colonels, or the Junta as they were also called, were extremely right wing and many suspected that the CIA were helping them as. it was the time of the Cold War, as it was then called, and there was a great fear in many countries in the West of a Communist revolution. The Junta soon began to round up anyone Left Wing or even Centrist, in fact anyone who dared to stand up to the regime. Many people were taken away and never seen again, others tortured abysmally in terrible and very Greek ways. The falanga is an especial such torture where the soles of the victims’ feet are beaten with iron rods for hours. As all the nerve endings are in the feet, this is an incredibly cruel torment. The time of the Colonels lasted seven years and was eventually brought to an end by a students riot and by events in Cyprus which backfired on the regime.
However, I wanted to let this lady know that today I read a brief report in the paper that eight prison guards in Greece had been charged with the death of a tortured inmate. The victim was an Albanian who had fatally stabbed a guard in another prison because he had been refused permission to visit his critically sick mother. The man was then taken to another prison for ‘his own safety’ but that resulted in the guards exacting their own revenge for two hours out of the sight of the cameras that monitored the prison cells. I quote this to show that, despite my reviewer’s fears that Greece may be going down the same terrible road that led to the Colonels takeover, she can at least feel that nowadays such crimes are not tolerated or a blind eye turned as before. The guards have been charged and if convicted they face a maximum life sentence in prison.
If anyone is a member of Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com I am currently doing a giveaway of four paperback copies of the Dying Phoenix from April 4th -11th.