Today I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Turbulent Wake by Paul E. Hardisty, a book that’s been described as A stark, stunning and emotive new standalone novel. Unfortunately due to my overwhelming TBR pile I haven’t had chance to read this book, but I do have a extract from the book to share with you ……………
A bewitching, powerful and deeply moving story of love, loss and grief. This extraordinary departure from the critically acclaimed thriller writer Paul E Hardisty explores the indelible damage we can do to those closest to us, the tragedy of history repeating itself and ultimately, the power of redemption in a time of change. Paul drew on his own experiences of travelling around the world as an engineer, from the dangerous deserts of Yemen, the oil rigs of Texas, the wild rivers of Africa, to the stunning coral cays of the Caribbean.
Ethan Scofield returns to the place of his birth to bury his father, with whom he had a difficult relationship. Whilst clearing out the old man’s house, he finds a strange manuscript, a collection of vignettes and stories that cover the whole of his father’s turbulent and restless life.
As his own life unravels before him, Ethan works his way through the manuscript, searching for answers to the mysteries that have plagued him since he was a child. What happened to his little brother? Why was his mother taken from him? And why, in the end, when there was no one left for him, did his own father push him away?
PUBLICATION DATE: 21 MARCH 2019 | PAPERBACK ORIGINAL | £8.99 | ORENDA BOOKS
He opens his eyes and looks out at the snow-covered parkway and across the steaming white rooftops, towards the dim memory of the mountains. A breakfast – cold porridge, a plastic bowl of gaily col- oured fruit salad, slightly burned toast – sits on the bed tray before him, ignored. Overnight, snow had drifted up and swallowed the cars that had been abandoned the night before. He’d lain awake and watched their owners, one after the other, stall on the hill, trying for a while to free themselves as the snow piled higher around them, and then finally giving up, trudging towards the lights of the hospital. Now, a lone plough, its orange light flashing in the pre-dawn grey, fights against the burial, its big V-blade sending twin streams of road snow curling away, like surf breaking on a West African beach long ago.
‘How are we this morning, Mister Scofield?’ It’s the nurse, the pretty one with the freckles and the face of a ten-year-old, open and innocent, the skin so smooth and supple, her bottom lip in a pout. He notices that she has applied some balm or gloss that makes her lips look wet. Something stirs deep inside of him, shivers like an echo for a moment, retreats. She reaches under him and plumps his pillow, then winds up his bed a bit, so he can look outside without straining. She knows that’s what he likes to do, does all day, every day: stares out of the window across the winter city and the foothills that he can sometimes see in the distance if the day is cold and the cloud has moved off. Never the television. They must think he is crazy, all of them, with their drapes closed against the day and screens flickering the remaining hours away in front of their faces.
‘Did you sleep well?’ she asks.
He nods, doesn’t smile. He has never been big on smiling. Perhaps it was because he’d never had his teeth fixed to make them look straight and white. They were good teeth, had outlasted other parts of the machinery – no decay, strong, did their job. It hadn’t been until later in life, after he’d married again and divorced, that he’d even realised they were an issue for others. He’d never smiled much before, anyway. He’d always wanted to be taken seriously, to be serious. Smiling wasn’t serious.
‘No breakfast again?’ says the nurse, checking his IV.
He shakes his head. ‘No, thank you.’
‘The doctor says you must eat.’
He pushes the tray away. This was not how he’d imagined it would be, not how he’d ever wanted it. How did it happen? Your life unfolded, you made decisions or didn’t, things happened and didn’t, and what you thought was an ocean stretched out before you turned out to be only a teardrop.
‘I want you to help me,’ he says to the nurse.
She smiles at him. Her teeth are even and white, lovely. For a moment he imagines that she was the girl who’d married his son, had borne his grandsons.
‘Of course, what can I do?’ she says.
He pointed to the IV line. ‘Morphine.’
She checks the line again, his chart. ‘You can dose yourself, as
‘No,’ he says. ‘I want more.’ He is conscious of his own voice,
cracked and dry and old. ‘A lot more.’ He looks straight into her clear, pale eyes. What beautiful children she would have made. He wonders if she knows yet that nothing else matters.
She stands a moment looking down at him. ‘You know I can’t do that, Mister Scofield.’
‘Why not? I’ll never tell.’ He curls the corner of his lip.
She doesn’t flinch. ‘If you are in pain, I will speak to the doctor about changing your dosage.’
He shakes his head. ‘I like the pain.’
She doesn’t understand, he knows. How can she? She still sees time as an ocean, can’t fathom this most cruel of illusions. Maybe that’s not so bad either, he thinks. Regardless, we’re looking back at each other from different shores of this same ocean. The only differ- ence is that I can see you, but you can’t see me. Time has accelerated for me, and passes still so slowly for you. Relativity applies. My only language now is the handful of events that I can recall, that stand out among the thousands of hours and days passed undifferentiated in offices and schoolrooms and bedrooms. Necessary, perhaps, but now I regret each of those wasted days.
But these two dozen or so times of my life, he thinks, these might be worth telling, remembering. The problem is I have no one to tell them to. No one left. Perhaps that, in itself, is one of the stories: how I came to be alone. And he wonders if these few moments are not shared, not somehow transcribed, will it be as if they had never occurred at all, and would it matter? He wonders if she would want to listen to his stories, those that might provide her with some glimpse of how to navigate the collapsing infinity between them.
The nurse is standing there, looking at him while he is thinking this. ‘Do you want me to get the doctor?’ she asks.
He shakes his head slowly. ‘The doctor can’t help me,’ he says. ‘But you can.’
Canadian Paul E 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 of out Yemen before the outbreak of the 1994 civil war. Paul is a university professor and CEO of the Australian Institute of Marine Science AIMS). The first four novels in his Claymore Straker series, The Abrupt Physics of Dying, The Evolution of Fear, Reconciliation for the Dead and Absolution all received great critical acclaim and The Abrupt Physics of Dying was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger and was a Daily Telegraph Thriller of the Year. Paul is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia.
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