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Saturday 26 May 2018

Absolution by Paul E Hardisty @Hardisty_Paul #BlogTour @OrendaBooks #ClaymoreStraker

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, Absolutionis a thriller that will leave you breathless and questioning the very basis of how we live and why we love.

Absolution by Paul E Hardisty was published by Orenda Books in paperback on 30th May 2018. As part of the Blog Tour, I'm delighted to welcome the author here to Random Things today. He's talking about My Life in Books

It’s as much about the paper as the words. 
I reach out in the dark and touch the book I have set beside my pillow. Outside, the wind has come up, and I can hear the turbulence rushing up the valley from the sea, and with it the sound of the waves on the beach at the mouth of the river. The smell of rain comes, still a way off, laden with the oils of marri and jarrah and peppermint, fresh and cold. I sit up, zip open the tent flap and step out into the night. Above me, clouds race across a timeless landscape of stars. The soles of my feet are cold against the ground. I face the wind, open my arms, stare up through the dark whipping boughs of trees. I walk naked through the forest. Rain falls cold on my skin, droplets shattered into spray by the covering leaves. I stay out a long time. 
Back in the tent, I snuggle down into my bag and switch on my headlamp. The battery is getting low, and the yellow glow cocoons back from the nylon of the tent fly. I start to read. It is a book I have had a long time, read through a couple of times, gone back to read specific passages or random chapters more times than I can recall. 
This book, this particular volume, with its battered cover and dog-eared pages and scribbled margins, is an old friend. The story is inspiring, one I go to when I am lonely, when I need strength, when I need to renew my acquaintance with the inherent glory of life. It is as much about the smell and feel of the pages, the weight of the thing in my hand, as the words, which by now I know so well, but which yet reveal new truths each time I read them. I think of the paces and times we have shared. Despite their size and the weight, I still carry this and other talismans on my journeys. Digital just doesn’t do it. Not in this way. Not even close. 
By my bedside in Yemen listening to the SCUDs landing in the night. Secure in the book rack of my little sailboat anchored in a lonely notch on the Pacific coast of Canada, hearing the storm blowing outside and the rain pelting the cabin roof. In my pack beside me as I lay staring up at the African stars, as far away from anything as I have ever felt, wondering if the love of my life will ever come back. Picking the book up, turning its pages, is like running my fingers through her hair, looking into her eyes. 
I read deep into the night. The rain comes, sharp fronts that pass over fast, pelting the tent and ripping through the trees, then moving off. Sometime later – I don’t look at my watch, don’t want to know – the battery dies and I put the book down. There is nowhere else I would rather be.
Paul Hardisty - May 2018  

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 cafĂ© 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.

Follow him on Twitter @Hardisty_Paul

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