AUTHOR: Paul E. Hardisty
PUBLISHER: Orenda Books
PUBLICATION DATE: March 31, 2016
Amazon - Goodreads
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?
Last year I read The Abrupt Physics of Dying, book one in Paul E. Hardisty’s Claymore Straker series and it was absolutely brilliant so I could not wait for the next book to come. The Evolution of Fear has now arrived and it has completely blown The Abrupt Physics of Dying out of the water. Chillingly good, it’s an action-packed feast of a novel with gruesomely descriptive prose, roaring tension right from page one and a breath-taking, gripping plot from start to finish.
Clay is a wanted man, with events in his past catching up to him (see the incredible book one). Things are not about to get any easier for him and within the opening five or so chapters of the new book, he witnesses and is involved in some of the many brutalities ahead, his best friend has been murdered and his lover, Rania, has disappeared (hooray). Everybody seems to want Clay, or those close to him, dead. It’s a bit cruel but with every horrific thing that happens in Clay’s life, I find I love his character more and more. I think I’m a bit in love with him and I’m not too sure that’s right but I can’t say I care! Paul has crafted a wholly believable character and we follow Clay throughout the pages, feeling his every conflict of who to trust and who to turn to (if anyone) and you can closely admire his strength and bravery as the danger hits very close to home.
The course of the book takes place in various destinations from Cornwall, Istanbul and most prominently, Cyprus. Paul takes the reader along with him on the adventure but we’re not tourists to the enchanting locations, we are instead witnesses to gritty drama, killings and betrayals, trying to work out who the characters we love or love to hate can and can’t trust and what on earth the author is going to throw at us next. And though I can’t spoil the events of the book for you, I can say that each aspect to this book is brilliantly written, fully engrossing and so intelligently done.
Attention to detail is paid everywhere in this book. We get an intense portrayal of each location, and I could picture every scene vividly from the settings, to the characters, their actions, their emotions, their motives (if I could figure them out…). One of my favourite aspects of this book was the detail to the boats which I found strangely fascinating, as well as the use of different languages throughout so you could feel the culture of the person or area yet still follow the story completely well. In truth, picking a favourite aspect of the book is a ridiculous idea because I loved every moment.
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.