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by M.J.Politis

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 St. Pierre, an  isolated Christian French village in the Dark Ages during the final days of December, 999 AD.   Life is harsh, brutish and short for most everyone except the 'Duke' (a collector of books who is secretly illiterate, but who rules everyone's pocket), his flirtatious Pagan wife (who has secretly taken most of the Duke's serfs and the Monastery's monks to bed)  and Abbott Phillip (corrupt head of the Monastery,  who has convinced the illiterate peasants that the world will come to an end at dawn on Jan 1, 1000 AD, Christ forgiving their sins if they give their wealth, and their children, to the Church).    In the middle of it all is Brother Thomas, a cynical wandering Jew with a secret past who is one of the only monks who can not only transcribe books but actually read them, and who has secretly written his own, which he hopes that, one day, someone will read and appreciate.  
True to the Abbott's prophesy, the 'Devil's invaders' pour into St. Pierre on the last day of 999 in the form of a Viking Invasion, sending the village's citizens into the Abbott's 'Last Cathedral', a renovated underground Roman Pagan temple.  But as the last day of 999 AD progresses into night, villagers go missing, with horrifying deaths on the surface at the hands of Vikings, or perhaps an even more terrifying foe.   Thomas is charged with saving whoever is left, a task which he fails at miserably, eventually finding  himself alone, as one of the only survivors, in a horrific wave of death and destruction for which he is more responsible than he can ever imagine. 

 Comment:   A Dark Ages mystery/horror thriller the thinking reader in tradition of 'Name of the Rose' .