Welcome to my spot on the blog tour for Reconciliation for the Dead by Paul E. Hardisty, published by Orenda Books. I’m over the moon to post my review today for this fantastic book!
Reconciliation for the Dead
Paul E. Hardisty
Fresh from events in Yemen and Cyprus, vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker returns to South Africa, seeking absolution for the sins of his past. Over four days, he testifies to Desmond Tutu’s newly established Truth and Reconciliation Commission, recounting the shattering events that led to his dishonourable discharge and exile, fifteen years earlier. It was 1980. The height of the Cold War. Clay is a young paratrooper in the South African Army, fighting in Angola against the Communist insurgency that threatens to topple the White Apartheid regime. On a patrol deep inside Angola, Clay, and his best friend, Eben Barstow, find themselves enmeshed in a tangled conspiracy that threatens everything they have been taught to believe about war, and the sacrifices that they, and their brothers in arms, are expected to make. Witness and unwitting accomplice to an act of shocking brutality, Clay changes allegiance and finds himself labelled a deserter and accused of high treason, setting him on a journey into the dark, twisted heart of institutionalised hatred, from which no one will emerge unscathed.
Reconciliation for the Dead leaves nothing to be desired in a thriller. It has pace, tension, excitement and a set of characters who draw you so fully into their world, you find everyday life taking a back seat to reading this phenomenal novel.
In Reconciliation for the Dead, we are given an even deeper insight into Claymore Straker as an individual. How his past has influenced his future and moulded him into the man he is today – how the things he has seen and done, despite the passage of years, still haunt him. This book, although the third novel with Clay, is a little bit like a prequel. It is brilliant!
Not only does this have action and pace, this is a story with emotion at its centre. It sees the journey one man will go on when his beliefs are questioned.
This book isn’t for the faint of heart. Hardisty leads us on a very emotional journey. And as you’d probably expect with something that takes such a deep look into the brutality of war, it comes with some quite graphic scenes of violence but at no point is it gratuitous. This is a heart-wrenching, compelling and insightful novel that truly is unforgettable.
Reconciliation for the Dead brings its locations to life in rich, vivid descriptions that reach out and pull you away from your favourite reading spot and into the hot, intense locale of Africa – such a page turner.
Hardisty’s writing is evocative and compelling. The hours slipped by, completely gripped as I was in the atmospheric prose. Alternating from past to present, Reconciliation for the Dead is an honest and unflinching insight into a dark part of Africa’s history. Fantastic!
Atmospheric. Vivid. Compelling.
If you’d like to read Reconciliation for the Dead here is the link
About the author:
Canadian 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.
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Huge thanks to Karen and Anne for my review copy and for including me on the blog tour!