CHAUMONT, NY: An historical novel that delves into honors and torments of patriotism set in the turmoil of a British Colony has been written by author Robert Egby. Entitled “Pentadaktylos: Love, Promises and Patriotism in the Last Days of Colonial Cyprus” it tells the tragic story of a man whose seed comes back to haunt him.
A British Army officer, Greg Sommerville returns to the Mediterranean island to find he has a son from a passionate love affair eighteen years before. It is now 1958 and although married, he starts to search for the Greek Cypriot woman to whom he promised to return. But she is elusive, having been disowned by her family.
Sommerville soon discovers his seventeen year-old son, Andreas has joined the ranks of EOKA and is now a Greek Cypriot patriot. The British brand him a terrorist because he is fighting to oust the colonial overlords.
To complicate the explosive situation, Sommerville discovers the presence on Cyprus of a Greek national who is wanted by Interpol for the assassination of prominent politicians and dignitaries in Europe and elsewhere. Colonial and British military leaders theorize that the assassin’s target is the British Governor, but an American newspaper correspondent, Joe Alva Hickey discovers the identity of “Morrie” the so-called Third Man just before the assassin attacks.
Sommerville’s son is helplessly drawn into the assassin’s killer group. Greg Sommerville endures gut-wrenching torment of making a choice. Does he patriotically support his own people in the hunt for the assassin’s group or try to reach and save his son before the crack British regiments find and eliminate the assassin’s group. The key to getting to his son rests with Eleni, the boy’s mother who is lost in Nicosia. And time is running out.
The entire story is set during the turbulent month of October 1958 when “The Struggle” as the Greek Cypriots called it, and the “Cyprus Emergency” as the British named it occurred in the last days of the Mediterranean Colony.
Author Robert Egby who lived on Cyprus for nine years as a journalist and award-winning news photographer during the main period of the novel says: “I have strived to set the fictional characters in the real Cyprus of that period naming hotels, nightclubs, street names, airlines, aircraft, cars, and weapons.” For instance, many of the original street names under the colonial administration were changed when Cyprus became an independent republic in August 1960. The book stays with the original names.
Many of the strategies and tactics used by the Greek Cypriot fighters, Turkish Cypriots and the British Security Forces are all on record and are reflected in the book.
“The year 1958 was a critical tme in deciding which way the future of Cyprus was to go. In the story, the fictional British Prime Minister promotes the ill-fated partition proposal actually issued by the Right Hon. Harold Macmillan in the summer of that year.
Egby wrote the original manuscript in 1968, six years after leaving Cyprus, but the manuscript stayed in a cardboard box for forty-three years until this past spring, when he started to re-type and re-edit the novel bringing it into the digital age.
The novel, published by Three Mile Point Publishing, in Chaumont, NY is available at many bookshops throughout the world as well as Amazon in various countries. It is also available as an E-book.
PENTADAKTYLOS: Love, Promises and Patriotism in the Last Days of Colonial Cyprus, By Robert Egby
Published by: www.threemilepointpublishing.com