EXCERPT: Four hundred miles away in a small, darkened room on the top floor of a building off the Falls Road in Belfast, Elliott’s face was drawn from a large beige envelope. The face was older than in the wedding photographs, and had by now acquired its distinctive scar. The photograph was placed in the centre of a bare wooden table. There were three men seated around it. The man who had taken the print from the envelope turned it through ninety degrees in order that the others could see it clearly.
‘John Alexander Elliott,’ he spoke with a thick Belfast brogue. ‘Ex-British army. Now freelancing. He killed McAlliskey. And O’Neill.’ He paused. ‘We want him dead.’
ABOUT THIS BOOK: THE EVIL WRATH
Cambodia, 1978: Amid the Khmer Rouge’s crazed genocide, soldier-of-fortune Jack Elliott is given the impossible task of rescuing a family from the regime.
THE PAINFUL TRUTH
Eighteen-year-old orphan and budding journalist Lisa Robinson has received the impossible news that her father is, in fact, alive. His name is Jack Elliott.
THE NOBLE PATH
As Jack tracks the hostages and Lisa traces her heritage, each intent on reuniting a family. Yet to succeed, they each must run a dangerous gauntlet of bullets and betrayal.
MY THOUGHTS: Not my normal genre but, to be honest, if Peter May wrote the telephone directory, I would probably read it.
Although this book is set in the 1970s, there are so many issues that are still current today.
WAR: There is always one being fought somewhere in the world, in which the civilians, the innocents, bear the brunt.
REFUGEES: A problem that has become worse over the years, not better. Yet who can blame these people who have already suffered so much, for wanting a better life.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING: There are always people looking to make money out of selling people dreams, then using them for their own ends.
This novel is not Peter May’s normal fare. And I must say that I prefer his Lewis trilogy, and the Enzo series, but The Noble Path is compelling reading. I vaguely remember newscasts covering the Cambodian war…but I was of an age where I was far more interested in the weekend’s agenda. Yes, I was shallow. I was aware on a peripheral basis, but if it didn’t affect me directly……for which I now unreservedly apologise.
The Noble Path contains graphic violence, but nothing that is gratuitous, in fact, it has probably been toned down. I cannot, and do not want to, imagine the atrocities, the cruelties, that occurred every minute of every day.
I did not enjoy The Noble Path, but at the same time I loved it. I loved the little kindnesses, the humanity of the characters. There were times that I gasped in horror, times that I wept with sorrow, and times that my heart swelled at some small deed.
This is a story of lost innocence on many levels, of human resilience, of the power of the love of a mother, and the search of a daughter for her father. It is a novel of the horrors and inhumanity of war. It is a novel of love, death and survival. It is a novel of hope.
My favourite quote: The dead couldn’t hurt you. But they filled your mind, touching your soul, a reminder that you too were only flesh and blood and would one day return to the earth. Dust to dust.
THE AUTHOR: Peter May is a Scottish television screenwriter, novelist, and crime writer. He is the recipient of writing awards in Europe and America. The Blackhouse won the U.S. Barry Award for Crime Novel of the Year and the national literature award in France, the CEZAM Prix Litteraire.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Quercus Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Noble Path by Peter May for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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