Absolution by Paul E Hardisty | Blog Tour Guest Post | Under Stars

Published by Orenda

Available in ebook and paperback (30 May 2018)

450 pages

My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Thing Tours and Orenda Books for the tour invitation.  I have read previous books in this series (reviewed here on the blog) and am looking forward to this one. In the meantime, I have a guest post from Paul Hardisty.


|   About the Book   |


Sequel to the critically acclaimed The Abrupt Physics of Dying, The Evolution of Fear and Reconciliation for the Dead. Claymore Straker returns in another gripping, page-turning, socially conscious thriller, with more at stake than ever…

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.


Under Stars

I lie on my back and look up. Eternity folds itself around me. All those stars, all that impossibility. Far from the lights of the city, the light of eons streams down. Gravity, too, seems stronger here, the magnetism of this ancient bedrock palpable, pulling me here, bidding me stay.

I close my eyes a moment, pull the sleeping bag up against the cold. A boobook owl hoots across the valley, is answered a moment later, the double rise and fall of their calls like the slow beating of a strong heart. And then, gone unnoticed in the glare of the day, the far-off roar of the surf comes to me. The river mouth and the beach and the rocky headland are about eight kilometres away, a forty-five-minute paddle along the black water of the river, narrow at first, lined with hanging paperbarks, then opening up into a broad shallow estuary with honey-coloured limestone cliffs to the south, and then the nearshore dunes painted with flowing grasses before the sandy-bottom amethyst and emerald waters open up past the river mouth sandbar. I listen awhile to the owls and the waves and then open my eyes again and start counting stars.

Tomorrow, I will wake with the dawn, and I will write. Clay is travelling across Africa with Crowbar, north from Kenya to Cairo. Enemies are in pursuit. There will be a scene where they look up at the night sky and think of the places they love, as I am doing now. I try to think of the words, to picture the scene. It comes to me. I must not forget it. It will be an important scene, given what I already know destiny holds for these two men. After years of working on these novels, Clay and Crowbar have become people to me, rather than characters. And the difference is that I should know everything about my characters. And what I don’t know, I make up. But now, with these two, I somehow find myself according them the same respect I do any other human being – the explicit understanding that I will never know more than a fraction of who they really are.

Just a few paces from where I lie is the camp chair I will sit in. My laptop, fully charged, is in my tent, along with my journal and pen, ready to go. Next to me is the small notebook I use for dreams and waking thoughts, a pencil, my water bottle and hand torch. I feel for the torch, flick it on, jot down those ideas, the ones I will use tomorrow, and then lie back down and wait for the stars to come again, burn through my blindness.

I know that I will dream tonight. I do most nights. But here, in this place, under these swaying peppermint trees, the big creaking marris and jarrahs, listening to the owls across the valley and the surf in the distance, always. So many of my dreams, I realise, are nightmares. Most are violent, laced with fear and disbelief. Out on the reef a few weeks ago, four hundred kilometres from shore, I awoke to find myself in a swirling maelstrom of every shade of blue, from the purest sky of the lagoons to the deepest night of the abyss. All of it was fraying, being ripped apart and pulled away into eternity. I was standing in the middle of it, watching as every edge unravelled, ripped apart by the grinding terror of machines, unrelenting and uncaring. I awoke heart pounding to the sound of the vessel’s big diesels. I wrote it down. As I will tonight. But for now, I will lie here and look into time, and count the stars, and wait for the morning.

Perth, May 2018



|   Author Bio   |

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.


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