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Reconciliation For The Dead

Published Date: 14th November 2016

Available in

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EBook
9781910633694
£5.99
30th May 2017
Paperback
9781910633687
£8.99
30th May 2017

Description

Fresh from events in Yemen and rimyprus, 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.

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‘A solid, meaty thriller – Hardisty is a fine writer and Straker is a great lead character’ Lee Child

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Hardisty doesn’t put a foot wrong in this forceful, evocative thriller … the author’s deep knowledge of the settings never slows down the non-stop action, with distant echoes of a more-moral minded Jack Reacher or Jason Bourne’ Maxim Jakubowski, Love Reading

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‘This is a remarkably well-written, sophisticated novel in which the people and places, as well as frequent scenes of violent action, all come alive on the page…’

Literary Review

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‘With echoes of Terry Hayes I Am Pilgrim, this book just knocks it out of the park in terms of what I look for when I want to read a thriller’ Bibliophile Book Club

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‘Just occasionally, a book comes along to restore your faith in a genre – and Paul Hardisty does this in spades’ Sharon Wheeler, The Times

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‘Smart, gripping, superbly crafted oil-industry thriller’

Helen Giltrow, Crime Review

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‘A trenchant and engaging thriller that unravels this mysterious land in cool, precise sentences’

Stav Sherez, Catholic Herald

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‘I’m a sucker for genuine thrillers with powerful redemptive themes, but what spoke to me more strongly than anything was the courage, integrity and passion with which this novel is written’

Eve Seymour, Cheltenham Standard

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‘The science reminds me of Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta novels. This is a modern treatment of a centuries-old conflict between indigenous peoples and usurpers bent on exploitation, us and them’ Texas Book Lover

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‘Laces the thrills and spills with enough moral indignation to give the book heft … excellent’ Telegraph

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‘Has bestseller written all over it’ West Australian

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‘A stormer of a thriller – vividly written, utterly topical, totally gripping’ Peter James

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‘The plot burns through petrol, with multiple twists and turns, some signposted, some completely unexpected’ Vicky Newham

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Reconciliation for the Dead is a gripping, page-turning thriller that is overflowing with substance to go along with Hardisty’s atmospheric prose and strong narrative style’

Craig Sisterson, Mystery Magazine 

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‘Paul E. Hardisty, writes thrillers, but he’s also an engineer, hydrologist and environmental scientist. His work often takes him to countries that are experiencing conflict and he frequently draws on these experiences for his novels. He argues that fiction allows him to tell the truth about the devastating effects of civil war.’ Paul takes part in an interview with BBC’s Frontline World Service

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Nominated for The Guardian’s ‘Not The Booker Prize 2017

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‘This shocking, frequently bloody, explosive, all-action gripping sequel/prequel to the The Abrupt Physics of Dying and The Evolution of Fear deals with one of the most appalling chapters of South Africa’s bloody history … Straker is a fascinating, highly conflicted character, a man trapped by time and place … This brilliant and moving novel, which can be read as a standalone, should be compulsory A-level reading to give students an understanding of the harshness of the world they face.’ Crime Review

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‘This is Canadian Paul Hardisty’s third Straker novel and it is indeed a compelling read and is more thought-provoking than many mainstream thrillers. The writing at times is poetic, at other times filled with tension in a narrative complete with well delineated characters and several shocks. Highly Recommended.’ Shots Mag

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‘Sufficiently enjoyable as a standalone book, though this is the final book in the series it acts more as a prequel of sorts, showing Straker’s formative years before venturing into other conflicts, ever seeking personal redemption. As much as you can’t put this thriller down, you will look up from it often to digest what you’ve read and ponder the human condition … Hardisty’s prose conveys exceedingly well the adrenalin-fueled fear that comes with close combat and he uses the fog of war well to create suspense and tension. The characters are vivid and sympathetic, and you can feel Straker’s angst in this uphill struggle to find justice and personal meaning.’ Crime Fiction Lover

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‘Paul’s protagonist, Claymore Straker, is a South African who went through the mill of the Angola war and was badly chewed up in it. In RECONCILIATION FOR THE DEAD we find out what really happened to him then and why. It’s Clay’s backstory.’ Paul Hardisty was interviewed in The Big Thrill

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‘The Straker novels are fast-paced, gripping and exciting (…) Hardisty’s writing and the underlying truth of his plots sets these stories above many other thrillers.’ The West Australian

Author

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 café 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.

Online Reviews

RECONCILIATION FOR THE DEAD is an excellent, five-star read on a number of levels … It reveals more about an intriguing main character, fleshing out an already fascinating character arc through three excellent books. It’s a page-turner, that doesn’t let its strong themes and substantial ‘weight’ slow down the storyline. Hardisty expertly balances the thriller and the thoughtfulness. I’ve been fortunate to read a number of excellent novels already this year, and hope to read many more in the coming months. But RECONCILIATION FOR THE DEAD may be the very best of all – now and then. It’s not a thriller that will be for everyone (eg if you much prefer breezy, easy-read stuff), but it is a sublime book. Very strongly recommended.’ Crime Watch

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Reconciliation for the Dead is perhaps the highlight of a superb trilogy, it’s a powerful and honest look at war, inhumanity, brutality and the need for forgiveness. It’s a complex and engaging thriller that never forgets that the lead character is a human being who is deeply affected by the events that shape his life and lead to him taking the lives of others. My love affair continues and I look forward to Straker’s next outing knowing I’m in for another another superb book at the hands of an author who is truly on top of his game.’ Hair Past A Freckle

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Paul takes part in an interview as part of the blog tour. Criminally Good

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Reconciliation For The Dead is a gripping narrative with scientific, political and historical elements superbly combined by Hardisty, that leaves the reader not only feeling that they’ve read an intensely fascinating novel, but that they have learned a few things along the way. Straker has plenty of stories left to tell, I’m sure, and I hope we get to find out what he does next. Orenda Books has published yet another uniquely brilliant novel and I look forward to reading more from Paul Hardisty in years to come.’ Segnalibro

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Paul takes part in a Q & A as part of the blog tour. Love Books Group

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‘This is a powerful and evocative reminder of the true causes of war. The writing skilfully weaves action and consequence as Clay’s decisions place him in recurring mortal danger. The gradual reveal of the aim and extent of the initiative he uncovers is based on reality … A stunning work of fiction that I eagerly recommend. This is an all action thriller with enough substance and bite to hold any judicious reader.’ Never Imitate

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Reconciliation for The Dead is a novel for all to read. The historical truth is mixed in with one man’s struggle to do right. There is the thriller aspect mixed in with the horrors that society seems determined to repeat in countries across the globe today. A riveting and provocative novel dealing with the heinous crime of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’ with an exceptional narrative and and some very harsh truths.’ Swirl and Thread

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Paul writes a fantastic guest post on ‘The savage task of reconciling a title’.

By The Letter Book Reviews

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‘The story of Operation Coast (the development and testing of chemical weapons) and of Torch (the internal South African resistance to apartheid) rings absolutely true. Paul has well recorded the horror of the times – but in a way that keeps us completely enthralled with the story as it unfolds. A great and exciting read that sheds light on a murky element of our recent past.’ Trip Fiction

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The Quiet Knitter shares an extract of the book as part of the blog tour. The Quiet Knitter

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Paul writes a guest post on the Last Fight he was in as part of the blog tour.

Ali – The Dragon Slayer

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‘This is a compelling story that will shock you on every page. A master piece of writing that breaks your heart in so many ways. There is for me a very touching moment, the first kill. Paul Hardisty really put this into perspective such a touching moment and very sad. This book is about serving your country, friendship, doing the right thing and believing in yourself. Sadly we say every time this mustn’t ever happen again but…’ Books From Dusk Till Dawn

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Paul writes a guest post about why the Apartheid matters as part of the blog tour.

Books are my Cwtches

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Grab a free signed copy of Reconciliation for the Dead as part of the blog tour.

A Bookaholic Swede

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Paul writes a guest post on Corruption’s fearful reach. Damp Pebbles

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‘Maybe Claymore Straker is a character of fiction but the facts that inspired this story are not. That makes my heart ache. That Paul E. Hardisty has managed to pull it together into a story which not only thrills but also saddens in equal measure, that brings forth such an array of emotions, is a true demonstration of skill. Well done, Sir.’ Jen Med’s Book Reviews

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‘Events that emerge are shocking and horrifying, and even more so because although Claymore is a fictional character, the whole story is based on the truth. It is an eye-opening and at times difficult read, it is a tale that exposes greed and inhumanity and how the desire for wealth and for power can destroy a whole nation. There’s some stunning prose and an evocative sense of place that adds layers to the story. Paul Hardisty has written a dark, brutal and very engaging story, so well plotted. This is first-class writing.’ Random Things Through my Letterbox

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Paul writes a guest post about The Evolution of Claymore Straker.

Rather Too Fond of Books

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‘This is not a book for the faint-hearted. The story starts off at speed on the first page and does not let up until the end. Even in the scenes where the pace is a little slower there is the ever present underlying tension that is written so well by the author … if you are interested in history and like crime fiction then I would definitely try it.’ Book Lover Worm Blog

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Paul Hardisty chooses his secret library as part of the blog tour. Café Thinking

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Reconciliation for the Dead is twisted, breathtaking and devastating … This book is complex, scarily chilling and as powerful as fiction comes. If this is the last book in the series then I will be absolutely gutted as each new instalment in the series has been one of my most anticipated reads and they never disappoint. I need more Clay!’ Book Drunk

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‘I believe this is Paul Hardisty’s best book so far (I’m hoping there are many more to come). He took me on an emotional rollercoaster ride, swinging between fear and anger, hope and despair, even more so than with his two previous books, which are also powerful and moving. Based on fact, this page-turning book is a perfect mixture of crime, thriller, politics, social history and science, opening up my eyes to a country whose past I know little about.’ Off The Shelf Books

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‘Hardisty has only taken a small section of that history and of the political unrest of South Africa and combined it with a fast-paced and heart-wrenching plot. It is also brutal, violent and not for the faint of heart. At the same time the author has managed to create characters, who evoke empathy, which is quite extraordinary considering the hardcore events that unfold around them … He strikes exactly the right tone in both areas. This is a captivating and poignant read, and yet it is also one that made my soul weep for humanity.’ MM Cheryl

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Paul writes a guest post on Six Qualities of a Great Thriller as part of the blog tour.

From First Page to Last

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‘At times it was a difficult read but a very powerful one. The book held my interest right from the very first and it was absorbing enough that I read it right through in a few sessions. I am not going to give away any plot spoilers by revealing exactly what takes place within the book. At times it is dark and hard to read, but compelling and unputdownable. I can see it being hailed as the historical thriller of the year or even decade.’ Mrs Bloggs Books

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Paul writes a thought provoking article on time as part of the blog tour.

Jeras Jamboree

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Paul writes an article on Living and Dying in a Time of Plunder as part of the blog tour. Novel Gossip

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‘I enjoyed reading this novel feeling like I could hear the South African accent. Most the words I didn’t know the direct translation for but I didn’t need to use much imagination to work it out. I found it a great follow up to The Evolution of Fear and would be interested in what happens next.’

Stephs Book Blog

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‘You’ll try to hold on to what you think is right and wrong and those lines will get blurred, buried in the sand. I went through it all and I can only thank the author for the fantastic work shining through every word, every chapter, everything.  This is a difficult book to read, but you reach the other end with a sense of awareness. This is a must-read that will stay with you. Paul Hardisty delivers on every promise with another phenomenal and explosive thriller.’ Chocolate N Waffles

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Paul takes part in a conversation with Greenacre Writers

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Reconciliation for the Dead brings its locations to life in rich, vivid descriptions that reach out and pull you away from your favourite reading spot and into the hot, intense locale of Africa – such a page turner. Hardisty’s writing is evocative and compelling. The hours slipped by, completely  gripped as I was in the atmospheric prose. Alternating from past to present, Reconciliation for the Dead is an honest and unflinching insight into a dark part of Africa’s history. Fantastic!’

 Ronnie Turner

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Paul writes a guest post about the power of reading as part of the blog tour.

Anne Bonny Book Reviews

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‘Rather, it’s a thrilling, edge of the seat ride, the reader in the company of Claymore Straker, truly a thinking man’s Jason Bourne and in my view one of the best characters to populate thriller fiction. The two aspects – thriller and social/moral heart – complement each other effectively and elevate Hardistry’s work above many of his rivals. As with the previous two books, Reconciliation for The Dead truly is an exceptional read and I can’t recommend it enough. A definite favourite book of mine for 2017.’ Adventures in Crime Fiction Land

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‘Although it is undoubtedly gripping, I had to take regular breaks from the book due to the emotional impact it had on me. This is a book to be read slowly in order to be able to gather your thoughts during various points and, quite frankly, pull yourself together again. Shocking, raw, and devastating; much like Schindler’s List is a film that must be watched, Reconciliation For The Dead is a book that MUST be read to serve as a reminder that, at the end of the day, we are all made the same.’ Bloomin Brilliant Books

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‘There is something a bit special about these books. Paul Hardisty has the ability to make the reader connect with his characters, and none more than Clay. The reader is inserted into the story right alongside him, feeling both fearful and hopeful at the same time. In the middle of war-torn Africa, we are brought right into the heart of it, through the superbly constructed and wonderfully evocative prose. Every puff of stifling heat, every step in the arid and harsh climate is almost tangible to the reader thanks to the author’s writing.’ Bibliophile Book Club

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Paul writes about Engineering a Novel as part of the blog tour. The Book Review Café

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‘Wow! Wow! Wow!  The Evolution of Fear was one of my favourite reads in 2016. I wondered if the author could match the greatness of this book….well, he didn’t….he exceeded it! The plot was tight, the narrative superb and the reader is right there with Straker — reliving the horror that turned him from a naive, young soldier to the man he is now.’  Crime Book Junkie

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‘I recently read his new novel, Reconciliation for the Dead, and absolutely loved it despite the harrowing nature of the story and the troubled time in history it focuses on. It is the third in the Claymore Straker series and I am yet to read the first two but I don’t think this in any way detracted from reading this novel. The writing is beautiful, the story compelling and the insights into human nature, both good and bad, moving and mature. Paul takes part in an interview on the Retreat West blog.’ Retreat West

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‘A balance of good and bad. In fact there are lots of amazingly drawn characters that build up the scene of this magnificent novel … Wonderfully researched, the superb prose just rolled off the page. A wonderful reminder that we should always try to do the right thing. I could not recommend this book more … This series has well and truly captured my imagination.’ Reflections of a Reader

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‘Parts of this book are fast-paced, while other parts take you by the hand and lead you gently through the atrocity that Straker and the other characters have to face.  It is heart-wrenching in places but beautifully written … Straker and this book is a testament to the real horrors that existed, that still exist. I cannot wait to see what is in store for Straker next.’ Crime Book Junkie

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‘Hardisty’s writing is utterly gripping. Within a few paragraphs, the story consumes its reader; surrounded by the vivid landscape of Africa and completely cut off from their day-to-day world, a physical effort is required to withdraw from the narrative … The Claymore Straker series is the full package, containing a solid core of real life moral reflection that truly enriches its adrenalin fuelled, edge of your seat entertainment. It is full blow thriller writing for the thinking reader that can only be improved by a final page confirming “Claymore Straker will return”.’ Live Many Lives

Reviews