Welcome to my spot on the blog tour today! I’m thrilled to share a fabulous guest post from author Paul E. Hardisty! Paul’s new book, Absolution, is the latest in the Claymore Straker series. Absolution is out on the 30th May. Before the wonderful guest post, here is a little more about the book and its lovely author!
About The Book
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.
To purchase a copy of the book, you can follow the links below:
About Paul E. Hardisty
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 cafe 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 CEO of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). He is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia.His debut thriller, The Abrupt Physics of Dying, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger.
And now here is the fabulous guest post!
The sound of car horns and a donkey braying outside my open window wake me from a dream: familiar faces, some long dead, others still as they were so many years ago when we were very young. It takes me a few minutes to calibrate this place, set it straight, put it into the dimension where it belongs. Cairo, city of the dead and the living. For me, a city of memories, of transitions and awakenings.
I push away the sheet, walk naked to the window, feel the dust gritting my skin. I push back the peeling shutters, look out across the crumbling rooftops and canyons of Al Farouk-era buildings towards where I know the Nile is. The air is already thickening. The smells of diesel and the smouldering of burning rubbish catch me hard. On this blue-sky day, I can just make out the top of the Nasser Tower, less than a mile across the city. I smile. I am, for the first time in as long as I can remember, free.
Freedom means different things, I know, to different people. For me, now, it means being able to get up in the morning and write. It means that my time belongs to me, and not to the organisation I work for, or the people who depend on me. I am here in Egypt, this time, on my own, for myself. Every other time I have been here, at various points over the last fifteen years, it has been for work. And while much of what I saw and did during those times will find its way, one way or another, into my writing, now, here, I am free. I wash, dress, go to what passes for the lobby in this cut-rate one-star hotel in the old centre of the city, eat my boiled egg and bread, drink my cup of sweet dark tea, and return to my room. I move the small table up against the sill of the window, set out my notebook, open up my laptop, and plunge into that other world – this world, but inhabited now by characters of my own creation.
It is as if the sounds and smells and the sublime, polluted desert light and the reflections from the Nile infuse the story. The words come in torrents, as if a dam that had held all this back for days and weeks had burst, the conscious and planned merging with the entirely unconscious, some things dreamt, some not, and from it all, the story takes shape. Claymore is here. He is staying at this hotel. He is looking for Rania, the love of his life – he is starting to know this as a truth, now, that we only ever get one. She is here looking for the people who murdered her husband and son. She is alone and in danger. As I write it, it catches in my throat. It is real. This is the way it can be when each morning is free, when I can write.
Life is about priorities. For most of my life, I have not made writing a priority. For a long time, I was truly not ready. Later, I may have been able, but chose a different path – science and the environment, starting a business. And then, for many years after I knew that I was ready, and had even started to write when I could, I did not make it a priority. Looking back, it was because I was scared. And now, finally, I have left that world behind, and I have, for now, found the courage to say “I am a writer, that’s what I do”, and quit the other stuff. And now I am here, in this dusty little room in Cairo and I am doing it. Sometimes, that’s all it takes. And there is glory in it.
I write hard, non-stop, and the time disappears. I glance at my watch and wonder where the hours have gone, wish that time wouldn’t hurtle away so, for by one o’clock or so, I kmow that the dam will be empty and what flows so freely now, like a pulsing laminar muscle, will spin turbulent and sputter, and finally dry up and it will be over for the day. Then, I will walk the streets of the city, maybe today go up to the City of the Dead and the Moqqatam cliffs where, in a couple of days, Clay and Rania may finally meet after so long apart – I am not sure yet. Then I think I will go to that gym on the other side of the river where they have a local MMA club and maybe do some sparring with the local touts. Maybe. But for now, it is flowing, and there is nowhere else I would rather be.
Perth, April 2018
Wasn’t that wonderful?!
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Huge thanks to Paul Hardisty for his wonderful guest post and Karen at Orenda Books and Anne at Random Things Tours for my review copy and blog tour invite!