23rd April 2017
Gallows Drop by Mari Hannah, crime thriller set in Northumberland (“a real hanging suspense”) ...
The Evolution of Fear by Paul Hardisty – thriller set in Cyprus.
The Evolution of Fear is the second in the Claymore Straker series by Paul Hardisty. It carries on where The Abrupt Physics of Dying (set in Yemen) left off – but also works perfectly well as a stand alone read. The third book in the series, a prequel to the other two called Reconciliation of the Dead and set in Angola, will be published later this year.
Paul is an author with a conscience and uses the medium of a thriller to highlight social and political issues. The book is a great page turner, but it has a strong message as well. It opens in Cornwall where Clay(more) is in hiding from the Russian mafia gang he outwitted in Yemen in The Abrupt Physics of Dying (and whose leader he subsequently killed). Clay learns that his Yemeni girlfriend, a journalist called Rania, is in danger and he sets out to track her down. He is pursued but escapes by sailing across a stormy Bay Of Biscay In a small yacht, makes landfall in Santander and then goes on by air to Istanbul where he meets up again with Rania. She is working on a story which endangers her life…
Her story concerns the corruption and misuse of power in Cyprus. Murky deals are going on between prominent Turkish Cypriots, prominent Greek Cypriots, people who are meant to be ‘at war’ with each other – and the Russian mafia (the same people Clay crossed in both Yemen and London). The deals concern the building of holiday hotels in the divided island and, crucially, the destruction of UNESCO World Heritage beaches so designated because they are turtle breeding grounds.The action moves to the island and on to a thrilling story development and climax. The book is hard to put down… In TripFiction terms it is an excellent read with great descriptions of both Nicosia and the Cypriot coast line.
Paul in 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.
Tony for the TripFiction team
For more books set in CYPRUS, just click here!