What do you do when the law fails you?
This new novel by Cleary is a crime thriller that vividly exposes some of the security and social problems in the new South Africa.
Ethan Hart loses his wife and young son in a hijack which goes horribly wrong at their smallholding in Halfway House.
He becomes torn by the often conflicting demands to revenge their deaths and to rebuild his life and he finds solutions to both in the small Eastern Cape village of Tarkastad.
In the new society Ethan enters nothing is as it seems and old friends from the past prove to be devious and corrupt. But then, he also little understands himself as he is caught up in the violence and responds with ruthless efficiency.
Yet Evil Remains could not be more South African if the cover was made of biltong and it came with a free six pack and season tickets for Kings Park.
When Peter Cleary turned his astute business brain to the ‘business’ of book writing, he met with immediate success – chalking up a string of no-nonsense, energetic and highly credible novels.
He is fast becoming the Alistair MacLean of South African authors.
For me, the greatest plus lies in the familiarity of the people, places and plots found in the pages of each book.
His latest is no exception, as he again writes as ‘one of us’, with story lines we can clearly identify with: a driveway hijacking gone wrong that kills his family; the botched court case; crooked cops; political skullduggery; apartheid legacy; cover-ups, bribery and corruption; a media frenzy – you can’t get more ‘Safrican’ than that.
It’s as sadly relevant as the front pages of newspapers.
For added measure, throw in the mandatory tormented hero and the gentle, alluring female as his perfect counterpart.
Like a kid in the candy store, it’s tough to decide which of Cleary’s books is his best (so far).
But what I will say about this one is that I cannot remember ever reading any novel where I arrived at the last pages so quickly.
The pace is hectic but the ride is smooth, despite all the unpredictable twists and turns, and ultimately there are no loose ends as the story comes to a satisfying stop after a most enjoyable journey.
‘Yet Evil Remains’ is ‘yet another must read’.
Dave Savides – Zululand Observer