A Pyre of Roses

| August 18, 2017

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Michael Attzs is a young man whose unique ethnicity is a source of mystery, drama, and personal conflict. He has only blurry memories of his childhood, which include a frantic man leaving him at a Catholic orphanage in a village. His mysterious past leads to the shocking murders of his wife and son—and later to an ill-fated second marriage to a woman with alleged ties to his sordid past.

The identity of his birth parents, and the circumstances that brought him to the orphanage, leads him to agonizing conflict and self-doubt. He concedes to his wretched fate and renounces his birthright and the church and flees the island. However, the deathbed confession of an elderly priest brings a glimmer of hope to Attzs’s otherwise worthless existence.

Other people, whose tragic pasts intersect with Attzs’s chaotic life, battle their own demons. Amid their wretched existences, each somehow finds absolution—some in a glimmer of hope, others in an unexpected encounter, and a few in the finality of death.

A novella within the novel, Bloodline: The Abraham Dynasty, and based on investigative reports by a journalist, uncovers the greed of a family clan, thought to be Attzs’s blood relatives. The reports unearth shocking aspects of Attzs’s buried past as well as a conspiracy that links his presumed father with the island’s illicit drug trade, the secular sins of the church, and the island’s racial tension on the verge of its independence.

It is a poignant story of a man who struggles to find the truth about his identity, amid a web of deceit, lies, and latent danger.

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