Adam Geard is only 8-years old when he witnesses a brutal rape and murder by the notorious Red Brigade on his parents’ farm on the Khami River near the Zimbabwean town of Bulawayo. The victims of the ethnic cleansing are their farm foreman, his wife and two young children.
For decades Adam has unexplained behaviour, often extreme, the legacy of the stress disorder condition he suffers.
He chooses to work as a geologist in the wilderness of Namibia, believing he might discover the source of his behaviour in those empty places. But he knows he is also hiding from reality, until it comes home in a mistake he makes; commissioned to capture three terrorists his acute anger drives him to extremes and he kills them.
Adam is recruited by a South Africa mercenary company to do duty in Iraq. In a slaughter-house in Kirkuk he finally comes face-to-face with the truth that has evaded him for so long.
“A trail of adventure”
An eight year-old boy witnesses a farm attack so brutal that he pushes it into the furthest corner of his subconscious, to the point that he no longer remembers the vile incident.
But it remembers him, shaping his future behaviour, surfacing at random times in explosions of anger and violence that even Adam Geard himself cannot understand or predict.
It affects his every relationship and ruins his life’s prospects as his normally sane and reasonable nature and above average intellect are regularly undermined by these ‘unexplained’ outbursts of aggression.
Author Peter Cleary weaves Geard’s personality flaw into an action-packed story that is nothing short of a masterpiece.
From the first chapter, the reader is hooked into a trail of adventure that moves from the hallowed corridors of Rhodes University via mineral prospecting to mercenary action in war-torn Iraq.
Once again, Cleary weaves into his story a depth of fact and reality that makes the book totally plausible in terms of people, places and events.
He attributes this to hours spent on Google research, learning about geology, psychiatry, weapons manufacture, political and religious schisms and general ‘dirty tricks’ operations.
Well done, Peter Cleary, on one of the best books I have read in many years.
Dave Savides – Zululand Observer