I have read a few books recently that I've not had time to mention - but as the latest Cliff Hardy officially hits the stores tomorrow - Torn Apart is a book worth mentioning. It's been really interesting to come back to Cliff's stories after a bit of a break in the middle of the series, where I thought it all got a bit same old same old. The last few books, however, have been really tremendous. Perhaps now that Cliff has lost his licence, is independently wealthy, his attitude has changed a little as well - he's always been a bit of a maverick, a lone wolf type. But now there's an extra edge - he's not working for the man / dollar anymore - he's working for himself.
From the Blurb:
Cliff Hardy may be semi-retired but he's as resolute as ever in fighting for justice and tracking down wrongdoers. Hardy has never been much of a family man, so when he meets his second cousin Patrick Malloy it's like being hit with a left hook to the solar plexus - Malloy is his double. Cliff and his cousin become friends and head overseas to attend a gathering of the Irish Travellers - a gypsy-like folk from whom they are descended.
The surgeon who took out the bullet that had nearly killed me told me that I needed to lead a quieter life. Interesting choice of words. After the death of Lily Truscott, my partner of several years, a heart attack and bypass surgery and a near fatal bullet wound, I agreed that I needed something. But what?
Semi-retired. De-licensed. But Cliff Hardy is once again fighting for justice and tracking down evil when his cousin is brutally murdered - did the shotgun blast find its target, or was it meant for Hardy?
Hardy has never been much of a family man, so when he meets his second cousin Patrick Malloy it's like being hit with a left hook to the solar plexus - Malloy is his double. Cliff and his cousin become friends and travel to attend a gathering of the Irish Travell - the gypsy-like folk from whom they are descended. On their return, Malloy is brutally murdered - but was the shotgun blast intended for him or for Hardy? Hardy is de-licensed, semi-retired ... but this investigation is personal.
The plot becomes still more personal when Malloy's ex-wife, Sheila, comes onto the scene. Hardy has his own enemies and Malloy's to consider as he searches for the killer. Clues point in many directions - to Sheila's motives, to Malloy's suspect business dealings, to his time as a mercenary in Angola.
The search takes Hardy north to a para-military training camp and south to a meeting of Traveller descendants in Kangaroo Valley. Other players have other interests and their playing style is ruthless.