Sri Lanka: 1987

Civil war is threatening to tear the island nation of Sri Lanka apart.

One of David’s intelligence operatives’ stumbles across a plot by a group of tea estate workers to establish an independent state in the middle of the country. David, on active duty in the north, must convince his superiors that the threat in the hill country is real but then something goes terribly wrong.

Priyani in her role as an international relief coordinator, must contend with David’s continued absence and a terrible humanitarian crisis caused by the fighting in the north. Having to deal with a bloated government bureaucracy and the blatant corruption of the Indian Peace Keeping Forces makes her job extremely challenging and dangerous.

Sami unhappy with his life in a refugee camp, worries about his sister who misses their mother and grandparents still trapped in the embattled city of Jaffna. Hoping to get some news about his family, he agrees to travel to the north on a secret mission for the government. The mission takes on a new urgency as he races to rescue a young woman he believed to be dead.

The Sullen Hills, the second party of Roderic Grigson's Sacred Tears Trilogy, and continues the evocative depiction of Sri Lanka's great beauty and recent tumultuous history which began with his original Sacred Tears novel.

This story will take you inside this ancient nation, to the heart of a gripping human struggle.


"Another fine instalment from Grigson who cleverly weaves a fictional story around factual events that took place during the civil war in Sri Lanka…fast paced…hard to put down…"

Amazon Review

Sri Lanka: a country torn apart by a long and brutal civil war…

A bitter, angry mechanic sits in an old Ford Escort parked in the central bus terminal during evening rush hour, knowing he’s about to die in the next few minutes. Devastated by what’s happened to his young family in his home town, Nadesan doesn’t want anyone living in the capital city to ever feel safe again. A local traffic policeman angrily raps on the car window, gesturing at him to move the vehicle.

What happens next finds him running for his life across the city pursued by a para-military hit-squad headed by a dangerous ex-soldier. Ordered to find and kill the men responsible for setting off car bombs across the country, his military training makes him very good at doing his job, yet Tilak grapples with hate that he loves it so much.

In the nearby general hospital, a compassionate and dedicated doctor struggles to deal with the pain and suffering caused by these terrible explosions. Could Amanthi be the one to bridge the gap between these two men … but will it be enough for them to change their ways?

Three very different people, their stories winding around each other like strands of barbed wire through the tragedy of a vicious civil war, by the choices they make in their life…


"Sacred Tears is a must for anyone connected to Sri Lanka. Even those who are not connected to Sri Lanka will find it a fascinating gripping read."

Amazon Review

1982 and Sami is far from home, trapped in war-torn Beirut, a city under siege by the Israelis. All he wants is to go home to his family in Sri Lanka but in order to stay alive he must learn to kill.

David, a captain in the Sri Lankan army, is sent to the steamy jungles in the north of the country as punishment for an indiscretion and is thrown into the brutal insurrection by militant separatist Tamil Tigers. As civil war erupts in Sri Lanka and tears this once peaceful nation apart, David's love, the beautiful Priyani makes a difficult choice and the paths of these two men cross on opposing sides of the struggle.

They must plumb the depths of their courage and question their beliefs about right and wrong.

Sacred Tears, the first novel in Roderic Grigson's Sacred Tears Trilogy.