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  • Location: Africa, Egypt, Zanzibar



Why a Booktrail?

1997: Straker is recovering on an island off Zanzibar, but not for long….

  • ISBN: 978-1912374137
  • Genre: Hitman/Gangster, Thriller

What you need to know before your trail

It is 1997, eight months since vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker fled South Africa after his explosive testimony to Desmond Tutu’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In Paris, Rania LaTour, journalist, comes home to find that her son and her husband, a celebrated human rights lawyer, have disappeared. On an isolated island off the coast of East Africa, the family that Clay has befriended is murdered as he watches.

So begins the fourth instalment in the Claymore Straker series, a breakneck journey through the darkest reaches of the human soul, as Clay and Rania fight to uncover the mystery behind the disappearances and murders, and find those responsible.

Events lead them both inexorably to Egypt, where an act of the most shocking terrorist brutality will reveal not only why those they loved were sacrificed, but how they were both, indirectly, responsible. Relentlessly pursued by those who want them dead, they must work together to uncover the truth, and to find a way to survive in a world gone crazy.

Travel Guide

Off the coast of Tanzania

Snorkelling off the coast of Tanzania sounds lovely at the start of the novel:

Clay blew clear his snorkel, pulled up his mask and looked out across the ringing afternoon chop, searching the horizon.

He could see the long arc of the island’;s southern point, the terrace of the little hotel (the only establishment on the island)

“Months at sea have left Clay Straker lean”. Just as well when you realise his journey in this thriller!

Tanzania – StoneTown

By the time they reached StoneTown, the sky was lightening over the Indian Ocean. Clays dropped anchor in five fathoms of water, south of the gardens and the white facade and clock towner of the House of Wonders and the old fort.

The author says:


Zanzibar is a great, and unusual place to visit. Chumbe is a tiny island run as a private park, protecting the island’s unique biodiversity and the beautiful coral reefs that surround it. Northern Somalia is hard to get to, and dangerous, but you can get in. There are some fantastic ruins in Dongola. The City of the Dead, under the Moqqatam cliffs in Cairo, gets its name because this huge cemetery has become home to over half a million of Cairo’s poorest. The area is also home to the zabaleen, Cairo’s underclass of garbage pickers. It is a fascinating and off-beat place to visit in this incredible city. Hatshepsut’s temple, on the western bank on the Nile, is one of the most famous of the ancient Egyptian monuments. If you go to Luxor, stay in one of the small local pensions on the west bank and take the ferry back and forth to the main town.  Much better than the big hotels.

Egypt  – Cairo

Maadi or al-Ma’adi

This is one of the city’s older neighborhoods and there are still beige trees shading the streets and the walled gardens. The greenery attenuates the din of the traffic along the cornish and cools the cement.”

It’s not the place nor the city for a woman on her own:

“A woman alone even supposedly in modern Egypt is subject to constant and intense scrutiny. After a while, you get tired of men assuming you are a prostitute…”

Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

I always feel more intelligent having read a Clay Straker novel. It’s the level of action, social relevance, timely themes coupled with a great set of characters that really hits home and makes them stand out. Of course the crisp writing helps!

This fourth installment can be read alone but again I think you benefit from seeing the whole picture. These are novels for our time – full of what we see and hear on the news but it’s actually like going inside that history and political text book and experiencing it for real. there’s no heavy text or backgound here though – just gripping writing.

This novel deals with a terror attack  – apt, sad and poignant all at once. Clay is a vigilante and only Rania, is his weakness. To see him respond and react to this changing world shows his strength of character,and seeing the world and what happens in Egypt is both fascinating as it is poignant.

The author has been there and done that and you can tell. There’s not many authors with a level of authencity this strong. The writing and energy take it to another level for me. The only thing which slowed the reading of it for me were Rania’s diary entries in italics. I imagined this happening at the same time as Clay’s story yet it was in a diary. Having said that, I can’t wait for the film which must surely be in the pipeline!

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  Absolution

Destination : Africa, Egypt, Zanzibar  Author/Guide: Paul E. Hardisty  Departure Time: 1997

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