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Bones of the Dark Moon [Kindle Edition]

Richard E. Lewis
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $11.99
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Book Description

During construction of a villa on an idyllic Bali seashore, workers uncover long-buried skeletons, their shattered skulls evidence of brutal mass murder. The discovery sets the village of Batu Gede astir. The life of Made "Nol" Ziro, a stalwart member of the community with a little gambling problem, is turned upside down. Could one of those skeletons be that of his schoolteacher father, who disappeared during the political upheaval and massacres of 1965?

As Nol sets out to find the truth of what happened, his path crosses that of American anthropologist Tina Briddle, who has secrets of her own, and who is determined to give a voice to the unknown bones. She suspects that the key to their mystery lies with Reed Davis, an enigmatic retiree dwelling among the Ubud expat community and rumored to have been a CIA spy.

Drawing them together is the mysterious Luhde Srikandi, who fifty years ago whispered her enchantments from deep in the shadows of conspiracy, and who begins to whisper again. Who is she? For what happened on that sleepy beach all those decades ago isn't dusty memory. Secrets are revealed, vengeance is unleashed, and a forbidden love flares to life.

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 compulsively readable, a page-turner with unexpected twists leavened with dashes of humor, laying bare the love and hatred, the tragedy and irony, and the joy and despair of our common human predicament.


Over the past few decades, Bali's local media has periodically reported the findings of human remains, exposed by coastal erosion, development, or accidental discovery. These bones are quietly cremated as an unsettling reminder of one of Bali's darkest chapters, the massacres of 1965, in which an estimated 50000 Balinese were slaughtered during a time of violent national upheaval.

The precipitating event, which occurred on 30 September 1965 and which was to be known in national history as Gestapu, was the kidnapping and murder of six army generals in Jakarta by rogue army units, reportedly acting on orders of the secret Special Bureau of the Indonesian Communist Party. At the time, the Partai Komunis Indonesia, or the PKI, was the third largest Communist party in the world and on the cusp of national power. The murders of the generals marked one of history's most startling reversals of political fortune. The nationalists' systematic bloody purging of leftist and Communists culminated in the atrocities in Bali, a horror that has remains unresolved and painfully fresh in the memory of the Balinese but is unknown to most foreigners visiting the paradise island.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The author of the popular young adult novel "The Killing Sea" (Simon & Schuster) about the 2004 tsunami, Richard Lewis returns to fiction for adults in "Bones of the Dark Moon," drawing on his own life experiences . Born and raised in Bali, Indonesia, as a nine-year-old boy he was an eyewitness to the events surrounding the massacres of 1965 and the effect they had on his neighbors and friends. After graduating from American university, Richard returned to Bali, where he now lives with his wife and family, dedicating his time to writing, surfing and finding the perfect chili sauce.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1384 KB
  • Print Length: 315 pages
  • Publisher: Saritaksu Editions (July 17, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E0BKI6Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #183,849 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His Best Yet! October 24, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Bones of the Dark Moon is a well researched and sensitively written novel addressing an important time in Bali's troubled past. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to understand more about the dynamics of the events of 1965 and the lasting impact of those events on Bali today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A totally gripping read. September 23, 2013
By jnana
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Richard Lewis is a master story teller. Once you pick this book up you won't be able to put it down. For any of us, (that's most of us) who have no idea of the genocide that happened in Indonesia in 1965, this book will educate, inform, shock and astound you and keep you hanging til the last page. I highly recommend it. Another great publication by Balinese publisher, Saritaksu Editions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-written, intriguiing September 13, 2013
By Pam
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book. The characters were interesting; the story was compelling. The book was very well written and shed light on a very painful political situation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Boning up on Bali July 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Richard E Lewis clearly has a deep knowledge of Bali, and like many long-term residents of the island has heard many tales of the horrors of 1965. So his weaving together of a contemporary tale of that time is credible, and his storytelling skills are pretty good too. This is an exotic page turner that has numerous leads and counter-leads, and feels like it has been written for Hollywood: it's a good read. But as Mr Lewis admits in the Acknowledgements, Bones of the Dark Moon was written for a western audience, so almost all of the characters speak with a western voice. I could almost hear the Californian twang coming from some of the Balinese. And, Mr Lewis gives us all the answers to his mystery at the end...! Well, almost all the answers. Don't want to spoil the story for you.
I would be interested to hear how Balinese or Indonesian readers respond to this tale - although it's written in English it's not hard to follow. But it touches on a very sensitive topic: victims' families, and perpetrators of that horrific time, still live side by side in Bali.
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5.0 out of 5 stars touches you at your very core May 2, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
For anyone who has had anything kind of relationship with Bali over the last 50 years this is novel will really get hold of you. It shows the dark secrets of Bali's recent past in a way that makes so much sense . A riveting read that you will not be able to put down and regret it finishing. Fall into the fears , group behaviour, and romance in a way that seems to naturally flow in Bali as organic as the lush vegetation that surrounds you.. A Great Read for those who have a special tie with the Island and for those curious about Bali on a deeper level.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book April 9, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Loved this novel. It was compelling and beautifully written. I found the world it took me into quite fascinating. And always there was the chilling knowledge in the back of my mind that the story was based on true events.

The novel's construction was elaborate, skillfully keeping the reader involved in the lives of several characters. There was never a dull moment. The writing itself was rich and textured, the characters were well-drawn and fulfilled, and the mystery was intriguing.

I will be reading more of this author!
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