A stark, stunning and emotive new novel from the bestselling author of the Claymore Straker series
Ethan Scofield returns to the place of his birth to bury his father. Hidden in one of the upstairs rooms of the old man’s house he finds a strange manuscript, a collection of stories that seems to cover the whole of his father’s turbulent life. As his own life starts to unravel, Ethan works his way through the manuscript, trying to find 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 else left, did his own father push him away? Swinging from the coral cays of the Caribbean to the dangerous deserts of Yemen and the wild rivers of Africa, Turbulent Wake is a bewitching, powerful and deeply moving story of love and loss … of the indelible damage we do to those closest to us and, ultimately, of the power of redemption in a time of change.
‘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…’ Literary Review
Today I am once again sharing my review of this wonderful thriller as part of Orenda October.
I’m usually found gushing about any book published by Orenda Books for good reason. Today is no different. Turbulent Wake is a profoundly moving read about love, loss and discovery.
Yes there are moments of violence, but what has stuck with me, is the writers understanding of human nature and the things we fear the most, the passing of time and our own mortality. Within a few pages he describes the passing of time in such clarity and with such tenderness that it took my breath away, for what we think of as an ocean of time stretched out before us, turns ‘out to be only a teardrop ‘. I often sit back and wonder how I have suddenly woken up one day to discover I’m older than my father was when he died and yet it seems only yesterday that he walked out of our door never to return. For its the quiet moments at the heart of this novel that make it so special to me, in speaking about some of my greatest fears, yet still managing to entertain on so many levels.
This story in just overflowing with moments that seemed to speak directly to me and for that it will always sit front and centre amongst my favourite reads. I often find myself thinking, after a passing comment, if the person speaking to me really understands who I am and if I even understand myself. One of my biggest regrets is never being able to get to know my dad as an adult and so the central narrative of this book, Ethan getting to know his father, through the pages of writing he left behind, resonated with me. For the engineer in writing of himself, in death gifts his son understanding, not just about the secrets he kept, but of how they shaped them both.
Both father and son are damaged and deeply flawed, just like us all and the writer explores how the effects of fractured relationships have repercussions that reverberate through the generations that follow. He takes us back and forth in time as we learn of the young engineers past and then back to the present and how Ethan rudderless and incapable of sustaining a relationship, begins to understand how similar they are and how understanding his father he can understand himself.
So why read this book? To learn if Ethan learns from his father’s words. To understand how the engineers past shaped him, but also to spend time with these two wonderful characters and be moved by both the story and how it speaks to us as readers.
About the author
Canadian Paul Hardisty has spent twenty-five 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 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. Paul is a sailor, a private pilot, keen outdoorsman, conservation volunteer, and lives in Western Australia. Follow him on Twitter @Hardisty_Paul