‘Of course it was the ultimate indulgence. Friends, lovers, family, people you cared for. They tied you down, kept you dependent, made you vulnerable. And worse, they paid for their friendship with vulnerability. When someone wants to hurt you, they target those you love most.’
Claymore Straker is back in Absolution, Book 4 in the series from Paul E Hardisty. Published by Orenda Books, these books are described as ‘gripping, page-turning and socially-conscious’
Now in solitude near an island off the coast of Zanzibar on the African coast, Claymore is recuperating and regaining his strength. But not for long…..
Today I join Orenda Books on tour with my review of Absolution, so please do read on..
It is 1997, eight months since vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker fled South Africa after his explosive testimony to Desmond Tutu’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In Paris, Rania LaTour, journalist, comes home to find that her son and her husband, a celebrated human rights lawyer, have disappeared. On an isolated island off the coast of East Africa, the family that Clay has befriended is murdered as he watches.
So begins the fourth instalment in the Claymore Straker series, a breakneck journey through the darkest reaches of the human soul, as Clay and Rania fight to uncover the mystery behind the disappearances and murders, and find those responsible. Events lead them both inexorably to Egypt, where an act of the most shocking terrorist brutality will reveal not only why those they loved were sacrificed, but how they were both, indirectly, responsible.
Relentlessly pursued by those who want them dead, they must work together to uncover the truth, and to find a way to survive in a world gone crazy. At times brutal, often lyrical, but always gripping, Absolution is a thriller that will leave you breathless and questioning the very basis of how we live and why we love.
Snorkeling off the coast of Africa with his boat Flame tied down and anchored off-shore, Clay (Claymore) Straker is slowly rebuilding his strength after leaving South Africa following some very traumatic events. He is living a relatively stress-free existence and has made close friends with a local family, a mother and her two small children. But for Clay, life is about to get very difficult.
After his swift departure from South Africa, following on from his testimony at Desmond Tutu’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Clay has made many enemies, lots of enemies. He has witnessed many brutal attacks and has been a victim himself. He is always on guard and aware of his surrounding, covering his steps as best he can but on 26th October 1997, his sanctuary is no more. They find him…….but who are they? And who are they working for? Clay is forced to witness the attack and heinous murder of his friends, leaving him back on the run and fighting for his life and those closest to him.
Meanwhile, his former lover and friend Rania LaTour is settled and married in Paris with a young son. Clay and Rania have a tumultuous history but there is an invisible thread that binds them forever across continents and time. As Clay is struggling to understand who is trying to kill him and why, Rania’s husband and son go missing. Rania is distracted and is concerned that her controversial journalism is in some way responsible for their disappearance. As Rania soon discovers all is not as it seems, as a trail leads her on a very dangerous mission to Egypt where she will unravel the truth…
(Note – Rania’s complete story is told italicised, in diary format, as she writes down her private concerns and thoughts to Clay. My preference would have been for Rania’s story to run in parallel, but not as a diary entry. This is just my own personal observation. I am sure that for many others this will not be the case!)
The turbulent journeys of Clay and Rania lead them both to Egypt, at a time when the country is in turmoil and where terrorism against Western tourists in on the increase. Paul E Hardisty’s books, though fiction, are all wrapped around true events. He brings his readers on a journey through real moments that are forever carved into the history books of our society. Due to his work, the author has been exposed to many dangerous situations where his own life was at times at risk. No stranger to the African continent, he writes with knowledge and experience and this shines through in his writing. I have reviewed Book #3 in the series, Reconciliation for the Dead, which is a powerful read, my review can be read HERE
Claymore Straker is a vigilante. He travels alone and most times he works alone. His experiences have thought him never to leave his guard down. His one weakness…Rania.
Absolution takes the reader on a fast-paced explosive journey through the African continent. There are many brutal scenes of violence and death, unnecessary bloodshed, in a society hell-bent on imploding and destroying itself. Yet there is also strength of character, humanity and the will to step above all this chaos and show a hand of friendship and humility.
Absolution recounts one of the many terrifying acts of terrorism on innocent people we have witnessed in recent times. This and other acts of violence are depicted in the novel with shocking clarity, as Clay Straker continues on his path to uncover the truth and expose what is rotten in a society that is hungry for power and money.
Purchase Link ~ Absolution
Canadian by birth, Paul Hardisty has spent 25 years working all over the world as an engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist.
He has roughnecked on oil rigs in Texas, explored for gold in the Arctic, mapped geology in Eastern Turkey (where he was befriended by PKK rebels), and rehabilitated water wells in the wilds of Africa.
He was in Ethiopia in 1991 as the Mengistu regime fell, and was bumped from one of the last flights out of Addis Ababa by bureaucrats and their families fleeing the rebels.
In 1993 he survived a bomb blast in a café in Sana’a, and was one of the last Westerners out of Yemen before the outbreak of the 1994 civil war.
Paul is a university professor and Director of Australia’s national land, water, ecosystems and climate adaptation research programmes.
He is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia with his family.
Twitter ~ @Hardisty_Paul