#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2017
My eighth bookvent read is a book I read for a blog tour earlier in the year. The third book in the series, this one actually sort of predates its predecessors in that it explains more about the protagonists past. Often brutal in its telling, the story is set during the height of the wars in Angola, when Apartheid was at its strongest and sacrifice of black South Africans in the name of science was simply a price people were expected to pay. Book eight in my #bookvent countdown is …
Reconciliation For The Dead
by Paul E. Hardisty
Sequel to the critically acclaimed The Abrupt Physics of Dying and The Evolution of Fear.
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.
Exploring true events from one of the most hateful chapters in South African history, Reconciliation for the Dead is a shocking, explosive and gripping thriller from one finest writers in contemporary crime fiction.
Now I won’t lie. I do love an action thriller. I used to read a lot of Tom Clancy when I was younger, wrote my dissertation on The Vietnam War (or The American War as the Vietnamese know it) and so when I was asked if I wanted to review this book I didn’t hesitate. I wasn’t at a disadvantage as I hadn’t read the first two books, but I sure as heck knew I wanted to read them as soon as I had finished.
Claymore Straker is a damaged man, and having read his story from his time in the army, it is very easy to understand why. Initially blinded by the ideal of fighting a noble cause, Clay soon sees the truth of the war he is fighting, the level of depravity his fellow man will stoop to, and the absolute danger of being a dissenting voice against the prevailing regime. Forced into a position where he must give testimony in war trials, Clay relives his final months in the army, the brutal situation which threw him into an enforced exile. Openly brutal, Hardisty pulls no punches with this story, and those who do not like this level of honesty and violence may not like the book. I can’t say that I loved it – that would belie the level of violence which is included, reflecting the truly brutal nature of this conflict – but I certainly respect the honesty and admire the quality of the writing. For this kind of book to engage and consume me in such a way that I still felt its impact days, even months later, it has to be a darned good read.
You can see my full review of Reconciliation For The Dead right here, and purchase a copy of the book from the following retailers.
Happy #bookvent reading all