Sunday 19 May 2019

Turbulent Wake by Paul E Hardisty @Hardisty_Paul BLOG TOUR @OrendaBooks #TurbulentWake

Ethan Scofield returns to the place of his birth to bury his father. Hidden in one of the upstairs rooms of the old man’s house he finds a strange manuscript, a collection of stories that seems to cover the whole of his father’s turbulent life.
As his own life starts to unravel, Ethan works his way through the manuscript, trying to find answers to the mysteries that have plagued him since he was a child. What happened to his little brother? Why was his mother taken from him? And why, in the end, when there was no one else left, did his own father push him away?
Swinging from the coral cays of the Caribbean to the dangerous deserts of Yemen and the wild rivers of Africa, Turbulent Wake is a bewitching, powerful and deeply moving story of love and loss … of the indelible damage we do to those closest to us and, ultimately, of the power of redemption in a time of change.

Turbulent Wake by Paul E Hardisty was published in paperback by Orenda Books on 16 May 2019.

As part of the Blog Tour, I am delighted to share an extract from the book with you today on Random Things

Chub Cay
The plane banked low over the water. The boy could see the white arc of the beach and the green of the palms and, further out, the many different colours and patterns of the sea. It was his first time in a small plane and he clutched the arm of his seat hard, his face pressed up against the window. The plane righted and he could hear the sound of the engines change, see the flap along the back edge of the wing starting to come down and feel the hole in his stomach as the plane started to lose altitude. They were coming in to land.
The boy looked through to the cockpit and watched the pilots. He liked the way they reached up to the overhead panel to work the switches, the way they flew the plane with small movements of the wheel and the throttle levers. He liked the light-green headphones they wore, the way they spoke calmly into their headset microphones as they guided the plane down. Outside, the island was gone and there was only the deep-blue colour of the sea and the puffy white clouds in the distance and the line where the sky met the sea. Soon they were low enough that he could make out individual waves on the surface of the sea, the little white crests where they curled over and the dark furrows between them. And then the sky-coloured shallow water appeared beneath them, and it was so clear the boy could see down through to the sandy bottom and the darker patches scattered there, the brown of rocks or perhaps the corals that he had read about and looked at pictures of, but never seen. And then quickly the shallows were gone and there was a white beach and a flash of green and then the rocky grey of the centre of the island rushing up towards them.
The plane landed with a thump and rolled to a stop.                             
The boy looked over at his mother. Her hair was up in a colourful scarf, her eyes hidden behind a pair of oversized sunglasses. She was wearing a short dress made of some light material that left her arms and her legs bare. He thought she looked cold. But he could tell that she was happy and excited. They had arrived. They were in what she called one of their ‘times of feast’. To him, these times meant presents at Christmas and on birthdays, parties, holidays in warm places. But he knew they meant other things to his mother.
The chief pilot, the one with four yellow stripes on his epaulettes, unclipped his seat belt, got out of his seat and walked back into the cabin. He wore a white short-sleeved shirt with a pair of wings sewn above the left pocket and green-tinted sunglasses. He looked very young for a pilot, the boy thought, much younger than the ones he’d seen flying the jets that took off and landed at the big airports.
‘Welcome to Chub Cay,’ said the young pilot. He pronounced it key, like the thing you put in a lock. He had fair hair and the hair on his forearms looked almost white against his tanned skin. ‘We’ll be back here in a month to take you out,’ he said, smiling at the boy’s mother. ‘Have a great Christmas.’
‘Say thank you to the captain, boys,’ his mother said. She was smiling at the young pilot, and the pilot was looking back at her through his sunglasses.
The boy and his brother chimed up with overlapping thank you sirs, and the young pilot reached out and tousled their hair, all the while looking at their mother.
‘Where is your dad, young fella?’ said the pilot to the younger boy, who was only nine and a half.
‘He has important business to do,’ the boy said, before his brother could answer.
‘I’m sure he does,’ said the pilot.‘His company owns this island,’ said the boy.‘Well, that’s what I’ve heard,’ said the pilot. ‘And that’s why we’re
taking very good care of you and your pretty mama here.’ The young pilot smiled and reached out to tousle the boy’s hair as he had done with his brother’s, but the boy pulled away. He didn’t like this young pilot anymore.
‘My father will be here for Christmas,’ said the boy.
‘Then I’ll see you all then. I’ll be flying him in.’ The young pilot started towards the back of the plane, then threw open the rear door and let down the stairs. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, if you will please disembark by the rear stairs,’ he said with a bow.
The boy’s mother laughed and stood and smoothed her dress. She was tall for a lady and had to stoop to avoid hitting her head on the cabin roof. ‘Come on, boys,’ she said. ‘You heard the nice captain.’
The boy unbuckled his seat belt and followed his mother and brother down the stairs. The pilot started to unload their suitcases and line them up on the crushed coral. A strange-looking car was waiting at the edge of the runway. It was open and low to the ground and had very small wheels. A man in a big white hat was in the driver’s seat. He waved to them and the car started out towards them.
‘That’ll be the colonel,’ said the young pilot as he unloaded the last of the bags. ‘Better watch out for that one,’ he said, smiling and wiping his forehead with the back of his hand. ‘If you know what I mean.’
‘Thanks for the warning,’ said the boy’s mother. She was smiling as she said it.
‘You bet,’ said the young pilot, handing her a card. ‘Well if you need us, just call. No job too small, no ask too tall.’
The boy’s mother laughed, and taking the young pilot’s hand in hers, she leaned her head towards his and said something that the boy could not make out. The young pilot looked back at her for a moment with his mouth slightly open, and then he smiled at her, clambered back into the plane and pulled the door closed. The boy decided that he did not want to be a pilot, after all.
The strange car pulled to a stop and the man in the white hat – the one the young pilot had called the colonel – jumped out. He was a big man, with square shoulders and thick legs. ‘Mrs Clifton,’ he said, taking her hand in his big bear’s paw. ‘I’m Colonel Rafferty. Everyone calls me Raff. Welcome. Welcome to the island. We’re so glad you could make it.’ He kissed the boy’s mother on the cheek and, as he did it, he put his big hand on the small of her back.
‘Boys,’ she said, pushing herself away from the colonel with one hand and holding her scarf in place against the breeze with the other, ‘say hello to the colonel. He works for your father’s company. He runs the island. Isn’t that right, Colonel?’
‘I certainly do,’ he said.
The boys shook hands with the man. They all got into the car and drove to the far end of the runway. The colonel stopped the car and they sat with the sea breeze flowing over them, the smell of the sea strong now, as they watched the twin-engine plane taxi to the far end of the gravel strip and turn to face them. Then the engines roared and the plane started down the runway. As it gained speed, the boy saw the front wheel come off the ground and the rudder on the tail moving. Then one wing dipped slightly towards where the wind was coming from and it was up and crabbing sideways as it climbed. When the plane flashed over them with a roar the boy heard his mother let out a little ‘oh’ as her headscarf flew away.

Canadian by birth, Paul has spent 25 years working all over the world as an engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist. 
He has rough-necked on oil rigs in Texas, explored for gold in the Arctic, and rehabilitated village water wells in the wilds of Africa. 
He survived a bomb blast in a café in Sana'a in 1993 and was one of the last westerners out of Yemen before the outbreak of the 1994 civil war. 
The Abrupt Physics of Dying, his first novel, received great critical acclaim, and was short-listed for the CWA Creasy New Blood Dagger award. 

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