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The Evolution of Fear

Published Date: 2nd November 2015

Available in

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EBook
9781910633250
£5.99
February 2016
Paperback
9781910633243
£8.99
March 2016
Audiobook
B01CDGW236
£18.99
31st March 2016

Description

Betrayed. A price on his head. It’s easy to survive … until they threaten her too…

Claymore Straker is a fugitive with a price on his head. Wanted by the CIA for acts of terrorism he did not commit, his best friend has just been murdered and Rania, the woman he loves, has disappeared.   Betrayed by those closest to him, he must flee the sanctuary of his safe house in Cornwall and track her down. As his pursuers close in, Clay follows Rania to Istanbul and then to Cyprus, where he is drawn into a violent struggle between the Russian mafia, Greek Cypriot extremists, and Turkish developers cashing in on the tourism boom. As the island of love descends into chaos, and the horrific truth is unveiled, Clay must call on every ounce of skill and endurance to save Rania and put an end to the unimaginable destruction being wrought in the name of profit.

Gripping, exhilarating and, above all, frighteningly realistic, The Evolution of Fear is a startling, eye-opening read that demands the question: How much is truth, and how much is fiction?

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Sequel to The Abrupt Physics of Dying, shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger

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

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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 … This is a really excellent debut’ Literary Review

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‘Wow. Just wow. The author knows his subject incredibly well but he doesn’t hit you over the head with his knowledge. Instead he leads you through the tale, at a breakneck pace, littering the narrative with painful and thought-provoking truths. The sense of place is conjured beautifully and the author’s fondness and respect for the people and the region comes across in spades. If you need a point of reference think, John Le Carre’s A Constant Gardener. … a thriller with heart and a conscience. Absolutely recommended’ Michael J. MaloneCrimeSquad

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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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‘From the beginning to the end – both of which are played out at gunpoint – this novel is non-stop action. It’s thrilling, but also highly sophisticated, and offers a startling look at what developed countries will do in their hunger for resources’
CrimeFictionLover

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‘I was a big fan, in 2013, of Terry Hayes’s I Am Pilgrim  and I hadn’t up to now read a conspiracy thriller which came close to it in terms of quality. But Hardisty’s book was an excellent read with a similar sweep across the politics of international money-making’
Sarah Ward, Crime Pieces

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‘Far from being your average page-turner, Hardisty has a superb command of language, creating evocative images of land which many will be unfamiliar with. The issues covered are very contemporary with seemingly impossible battles against overbearing figures and organisations. It’s an exciting, absorbing and provocative stormer’
Kevin Freeburn

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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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Featured in Book Time Magazine

Author

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 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 with his family. His debut novel, The Abrupt Physics of Dying has been widely reviewed and critically acclaimed, as well as being shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger. Paul is currently working on a prequel to the Claymore Straker series.

Website: paulehardisty.wix.com/paulehardisty

Online Reviews

‘Straker has his work cut out this time out – there seem to be numerous factions keen to see the back of him. At times he cannot even be sure that he can trust his friends and this keeps the tension high as the story unfolds. At no point did I feel the story was slow paced, however, as I read deeper into the book I could feel momentum building. The action came thick and fast with everything building up towards a breathless finale. I tend not to follow the ‘if you like x then you will love y’ recommendations. What I will suggest is that fans of high octane thrillers (Matthew Reilly and Scott Mariani sprang to mind) would be well advised to check out Paul Hardisty’s books’

Grab This Book

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‘Despite its panoramic scope – personal, political and cultural –  this worthy sequel to Hardisty’s gripping debut is never a difficult read. If one or two plot twists are signalled, many more are side-swipingly unexpected. Building on the strengths of The Abrupt Physics of Dying, it hooks you in from the start and challenges you to try putting it down before – breathless and exhausted – you reach its shocking and satisfying conclusion’ Claire Thinking

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Q&A with Paul E. Hardisty at Espresso Coco

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‘Towards the end, the story really starts to pick up pace. I was literally on the edge of my seat and was scared to carry on reading as by that time there were a few characters that I was drawn to and I wanted everyone of them to get out of it alive. Of course you will have to read it yourself to find that out. The Evolution of Fear is an edge of your seat thriller that comes at you fast and hard’ By the Letter Book Reviews

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‘Paul Hardisty does a fantastic job in showing the struggle on both sides and at showing how important wildlife preservation is and how much danger it is in from people who are in power and are obsessed with having more’ Steph’s Book Blog

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‘It absolutely does not let up, with high tension all the way. The author’s skill at describing technical things to the layman is demonstrated again here, as it was in the previous book. And it’s clear the author has travelled extensively (or has a marvellous imagination!) as his lavish descriptions of each place made me feel as though I were there – Istanbul in particular; after reading this, I’d love to travel there. This is a masterpiece of a thriller, which will be enjoyed by the intelligent reader who enjoys exotic settings’ Crime Worm

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‘This is dynamite thriller writing and Clay Straker is an affecting and memorable lead character and it is the drawing of the characters that is crucial to elevate Hardisty’s work from set piece action to something you genuinely care about. I have said previously that Straker was made for the big screen but perhaps there is an example in Jason Bourne of how the transference from novel to movie can diminish that depth of involvement that the original trilogy possessed but which the films could not capture’ Live Many Lives

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Guest Post by Paul Hardisty ‘Fear of Drowning’ at Crime Thriller Girl

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‘If you like your thrillers action packed with pace and suspense then I have no hesitation in recommending this one.  Although there are plenty of dead bodies which appear throughout, it’s not a typical run of the mill crime thriller but more of a story of mankind’s moral compass.  There are times when you have to do the right thing, even if the result brings you personal heartache and hardship’ My Reading Corner

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‘The entire plot was gripping from beginning to end. It’s fierce, violent and in your face but you can tell it’s written by someone who knows, who’s been there and who has felt every bead of sweat on his top lip as Clay does. A meaty thriller says Lee Child and he should know. We say like the best steak there is, this is worth savouring. Chewing over until that moment when, meat sweats or not, you can sit back and relax, enjoying the feeling of having devoured a book that satisfies on every level’ The Book Trail

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Great guest post on Shotsblog ‘Evolve or Die’

Fab guest post on Portobello Book Blog

Excellent guest post on This Crime Book ‘Hardisty on Claymore Straker…A character born of conflict’

Brilliant Q&A with Paul Hardisty at Chillers, Killers and Thrillers

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‘Nobody would want to argue with the man behind Jack Reacher and on the strength of both The Abrupt Physics of Dying and The Evolution of Fear it’s impossible to do so – in fact I’m going to state outright that Mr Child has some serious competition here; Straker well and truly holds his ground against that one-man army. It beggars belief that this is only Paul E. Hardisty’s second book – this is as tough, taut, high-octane and powerful as the best and with a level of intelligence that pulls it heads and shoulders above the pack. Once again, if stars were to be sat at the bottom of my reviews there’d be five of them right here. Sequels / second instalments are a tough act to get right, The Evolution of Fear picks up where the first book left off and turns everything up louder’

Tony Hill, Mumbling About Music

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‘And as the story scorches through Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Cyprus, other angles emerge – greed, theft, political chicanery and even the threat of renewed war on that divided island. (I don’t think the book will do a great deal for the Cypriot tourist industry! It makes the place out to be little more then a playground for Russian oligarchs, whose gangs of thugs seem free to fight pitched battles against their master’s or mistress’s enemies.) It’s all done with great verve, and Clay is a complex and difficult central character’ Blue Book Balloon

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‘The writing is taut and compelling throughout. This is a fine action thriller that also impels the reader to consider big issues from the real world. Those who enjoy comfort and easy access to places of natural beauty are complicit in the destruction of that which made it beautiful. Those who believe the words of politicians are naive. I was emotionally hooked by the imagery suffering a sense of loss as profit was pursued despite the cost. It is testament to the skill of the author that he can convey a difficult message whilst never compromising on the pace or excitement. Read this for the pleasure of an edge of your seat adventure. You will be offered so much more’ Never Imitate

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‘I read a lot of thrillers, and they can become formulaic after a while. Paul E. Hardisty has just set the bar impossibly high as regards a thriller for me. The Evolution of Fear is just superbly written, taut and excellently constructed. 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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‘The plot in The Evolution of Fear is heavily developed with action coming from all corners and betrayals, tension and exhilarating scenes gracing every page. It’s an all-consuming book – one of those that will still have you up, weary-eyed, come 3am but you won’t feel a single bit of regret. Each chapter is more fast-paced than the last and you don’t really get much of a chance to catch your breath because who has time to put a book down when that book is as exceptionally thrilling as this one is. It’s an understatement just to say that this book is fantastic – but it will be in my top ten of the year and I will be impatiently stropping until book three is finally in my hands’

Sophie, Reviewed the Book

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‘I have to say that this genre is not my typical read.  I certainly did not believe I would love this book as much as I do.  The feelings evoked stayed with me a long time after I finished the last page and I cannot recommend it highly enough.  So #bookjunkies, if you have to read one book this year — definitely read this one as you will never forget it.  I do not think my review gives it the justice it deserves, it is just superb!’ Crime Book Junkie

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The Evolution of Fear is definitely a thriller, it is as thrilling as a thriller should be but it’s also completely believable throughout. The story moves along blisteringly, and as a Hollywood blockbuster it certainly wouldn’t disappoint but compared to other books in this genre I found the characters to be much better developed. Claymore Straker is just a brilliant character and one who is so easy to read about, and to picture as a real person. There’s so much depth to the characters and to the plot itself that at times it is more like one of those non-fiction stories as opposed to a work of fiction. And of course, that’s because of Paul’s background, giving him the ability to write a tale that, whilst entertaining is also quite true to life in places. The storyline itself is gripping from start to finish, gripping in a way that keeps you there until the very last page. I also enjoyed that in places it’s not a predictable read, you might think you know what’s happening or you might guess some stuff, but never the whole story. I think that’s yet another reason why I loved this book so much’ Shaun Book Addict

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‘I love Clay. HUGE book crush and with The Evolution of Fear the author has added real layers to the character I adored in the first novel. He is intricately drawn, beautifully real, redefined in every moment throughout the course of the story as he fights both external and internal battles. His relationship with Rania, the things that drive him, all of that given sharp focus, an often darkly ironic and humerous eye to detail, I was just fully absorbed into his world from the opening salvo to the closing pages. The character is the story, the story is the hook, there is a perceptive, impassioned core to the entirety of this novel that for me just worked on every single level. Plus it is action packed, set in multiple places all beautifully described and you just won’t want to put it down once you have picked it up. Oh I could bang on for ages but the bottom line is this. Paul Hardisty writes bloody brilliant thrillers. It’s all you need to know’ Liz Loves Books

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‘Thirdly, The Evolution of Fear is literary fiction too, with beautifully written prose and vivid imagery of the stunning settings interspersed with the full-on action scenes. The descriptive passages are so carefully crafted that they’re a pleasure to read in themselves. This is something you don’t find in many other books within the action thriller genre, which is why The Evolution of Fear stands out’ Off the Shelf Books

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‘Clay Straker is a formidable main protagonist with plenty of stories still to tell (I hope). Certainly the sneak peek at the end of this book implies so. Hardisty has again shown himself as an excellent creator of twists, turns and ploys to take the reader on a journey where they have no idea who Clay should and shouldn’t trust. Add to that mix his stunning descriptions of the landscapes and settings plus his careful application of scientific fact to the plot, and you have a perfect adventure story. I am certainly looking forward to reading and reviewing further Clay Straker adventures. Orenda Books is on fire at the moment, and with writers like Paul Hardisty, amongst others, signed up with them, it is no surprise at all’ Segnalibro

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‘There is so much happening in this book that I think the phrase ‘action packed’ was coined especially for it!  And what an international journey you go on.  The settings are described so clearly you can picture them in your mind.  Paul E. Hardisty paints a very vivid picture which I, for one, appreciated.  Hardisty is clearly a very intelligent and knowledgeable man who knows his subject matter inside out’ Damp Pebbles

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‘This is all about surviving and survival, for the turtles and personally for Clay. Paul E. Hardisty brings us fights, blood loss galore and we are lead up many a dark alley way on the road to the truth. Action packed, we are thrust into this dangerous world of assassins and corruption. No one can be trusted. Yes, its the sort of book where you can barely pause for breath… It really should come with a warning! This is a fast paced and intelligent thriller, with a dashing hero and some cute turtles!’ Northern Crime

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‘The plot burns through petrol, with multiple twists and turns, some signposted, some completely unexpected. There is a lot of gun-fighting and killing, but both are in keeping with the high stakes, and this isn’t Miss Marple: no-one has stolen the prize winning marrows at the village fête. It’s mafia/CIA/corporation/international terrorism/species extinction scale crime. The price on Clay’s head – dead or alive – has been placed by the leader of the Medved family for the murder of one of their kin, a crime Clay didn’t commit. This takes the story, and Clay, to Cyprus. Rania, who is a journalist, is also sent there by her boss to follow a story about the threat posed to turtles by tourism and development. Having been to Cyprus and seen evidence of the national and religious conflicts, I found this aspect of the book extremely interesting, particularly since it brings in environmental issues and capitalism’

Vicky Newham, At the Edge of Words

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‘Paul is a university professor and Director of Australia’s national land, water, ecosystems and climate adaption research programme. He has spent 25 years working all over the world as an engineer, hydrologist, and environmental scientist. He is passionate about global warming and the destruction of the natural environment. In short, he really knows his subject matter – and the impact that corruption can have. He leaves us to guess whether the ‘facts’ in The Evolution of Fear are true as they stand (with only the names changed to prevent a libel action), whether they are the base of a story which is then built around them, or whether the whole thing is made up. I suspect the middle one of the three – and that Paul uses creative license to make absolutely valid points about the world in which we live. We are not, though, force fed the underlying message – the story absolutely stands in its own right as really exciting thriller’ Trip Fiction

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‘Hardisty’s writing style feels as though it has matured since The Abrupt Physics of Dying; he is more aware of his strengths as an author, making his second novel tighter and tenser than his debut. The Evolution of Fear feels like James Bond at his best – a perfect distilling of contemporary fears, producing a final product which is pure action. While Bond fought Communists and nuclear annihilation, Straker’s enemies are fundamentalism and environmental destruction. But Straker is a much more palatable hero for our times; a damaged man, who will inevitably lose something more of himself before the novel is over. In style and form The Evolution of Fear is much like The Abrupt Physics of Dying, even the dancing across languages is repeated, with occasionally frustrating effect – lines are written with a single word in Greek, then written again in English, or a whole conversation is suffixed by the phrase ‘he said, in Afrikaans’ leading to a lot of repetitive and unnatural dialogue. Despite these, and despite being set over 20 years ago, The Evolution of Fear feels fresher and more contemporary than most crime fiction I’ve read recently’ Crime Fiction Lover

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‘……..The plot is complex. The author is not satisfied with one baddy and introduces three. The challenge for the reader is to work out whether any of the three is actually to be trusted in any way at all. Not satisfied with that, doubt is cast as to whether even Clay’s long term friend and comrade in arms has been turned. Other evil characters you have learned to love to hate also make it from the first novel …… It’s another great read. The tension builds and builds to a point when the book can’t be put down. I finished it at 2am one morning and didn’t regret the lost sleep one bit……’ Breakaway Reviewers

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‘This second novel picks off where the first ended, Claymore Straker now a fugitive with a price on his head after his adventures in the Yemen. Hardisty’s descriptive prose brings every aspect of this novel alive. The violence in this novel isn’t excessive but when it comes it’s visceral … All in all, this is a brilliant novel, one that’s both an entertaining page turner and a cerebral engagement with issues that affect us all. This is a 5 star read and I certainly look forward to Paul Hardisty’s next novel.’Crime Novel Reader

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‘I have complete confidence that Paul E. Hardisty — whose bio is outrageously interesting and laced with risk — will carry this series forward. Consider me eagerly waiting for the next Clay Straker adventure, with its suspense and moral conflicts, as well as highly memorable characters and situations. Good stuff.’ Kingdom Books

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The writing is taut and gripping. Claymore Striker is an action hero with flaws – he struggles with the dark deeds he has committed in the past, but he is brave, loyal and fights against the injustices he sees around him. He keeps going despite the dangers and a succession of injuries. The action is thrilling, and at a breakneck pace, and the landscape in which the action is set is described by the author so vividly you can feel the heat and taste the dust.   Above all, it is a highly entertaining and high-octane thriller. Mystery People

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‘Hardisty’s descriptive prose brings every aspect of this novel alive. The violence in this novel isn’t excessive but when it comes it’s visceral. Landscapes are brought to life so that you as the reader feel like you’re there. He obviously knows his subjects or has done his research, the scenes on the yacht bringing the perils of sailing through an Atlantic storm to life. Most impressive of all however is a subtler thread which works its way through the novel. All in all, this is a brilliant novel, one that’s both an entertaining page turner and a cerebral engagement with issues that affect us all. This is a 5 star read and I certainly look forward to Paul Hardisty’s next novel.’ Nudge Books

Reviews