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The Abrupt Physics of Dying

Book #1 of Claymore Straker
Published by Orenda Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

When he is hijacked by Islamic terrorists, an oil company engineer is forced to investigate a mysterious illness afflicting a small Yemen village … with shocking results. A stunning debut thriller and first in the addictive, eye-opening Claymore Straker series.

***Shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger***
***Book of the Year in the TELEGRAPH***

'Just occasionally, a book comes along to restore your faith in a genre and Paul Hardisty's The Abrupt Physics of Dying does this in spades' The Times

‘A stormer of a thriller – vividly written, utterly topical, totally gripping' Peter James

‘Remarkably well-written and sophisticated’ Literary Review

‘A page-turning adventure that grabs you from the first page and won’t let go’ Edward Wilson


One man. An oil company. A decision that could cost his life.

Claymore Straker is trying to forget a violent past. Working as an oil company engineer in the wilds of Yemen, he is hijacked at gunpoint by Islamic terrorists. Clay has a choice: help uncover the cause of a mysterious sickness afflicting the village of Al Urush, close to the company’s oil-processing facility, or watch Abdulkader, his driver and close friend, die.

As the country descends into civil war and village children start dying, Clay finds himself caught up in a ruthless struggle between opposing armies, controllers of the country’s oil wealth, Yemen’s shadowy secret service, and rival terrorist factions.

As Clay scrambles to keep his friend alive, he meets Rania, a troubled journalist. Together, they try to uncover the truth about Al Urush. But nothing in this ancient, unforgiving place is as it seems. Accused of a murder he did not commit, put on the CIA’s most-wanted list, Clay must come to terms with his past and confront the powerful forces that want him dead.

A stunning debut eco-thriller, The Abrupt Physics of Dying will not only open your eyes, but keep them glued to the page until the final, stunning denouement is reached.


‘Trenchant and engaging’ Stav Sherez, Catholic Herald

‘A solid, meaty thriller – Hardisty is a fine writer and Straker is a great lead character’ Lee Child

‘Full of thrills, spills and moral indignation … an outstanding debut’ Jake Kerridge, Telegraph

‘Fast-paced and cleverly written, this novel has bestseller written all over it’ West Australian

‘An exceptional debut, beautifully written, blisteringly authentic, heartstoppingly tense and unusually moving. Definite award material' Paul Johnston

‘A thriller of the highest quality, with the potential to one day stand in the company of such luminaries as Bond and Bourne’ Live Many Lives

‘A big, powerful, sophisticated and page-turning thriller – thought-provoking and prescient' Eve Seymour

'A forceful first novel by a writer not afraid of weighty issues and visibly in love with the beauty of the Yemen and desert landscapes his protagonists travel through’ Maxim Jakubowski

‘Searing … at times achieves the level of genuine poetry’ Publishers Weekly STARRED review

‘A fast-paced action thriller, beautifully written’ Tim Marshall, author of Prisoners of Geography

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 three novels in his Claymore Straker series, The Abrupt Physics of Dying, The Evolution of Fear and Reconciliation for the Dead 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

  • Publisher: Orenda Books (March 8, 2015)
  • Length: 450 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781910633052

More books from this author: Paul E. Hardisty

More books in this series: Claymore Straker