In Khuh Tabar, high up in foothills of the Hindu Kush, a young Englishwoman watches her husband and son murdered. Two years later, she returns to England, still traumatised by the memory. Her grief turns to rage when she finds out the killer walks free. Will she honour the ancient code of the Pashtuns and avenge the deaths, risking a life sentence for murder? Or will she abide by the laws of her homeland and live with her anger for ever?
According to his British passport, Douglas Renwick’s occupation for many years was ‘Government Service’. This included spells in Libya, Malta, Cyprus, Ireland and Germany. He also worked at the Ministry of Defence in London, the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Powers in Europe in Belgium, the Pentagon in Washington DC, and White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.
He has spent time in East Berlin, Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Argentina, Egypt, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Burma, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. He has jumped out of planes, swum across Valetta harbour, skied across the Alps and the Rockies, and been transferred by breeches buoy from one Royal Navy ship to another, at sea and under full steam. He has been down a coal-mine in Yorkshire, a salt-mine in Poland and a nuclear bunker in Essex.
Now a grandfather, retired and living in Kent, time allows him to commit some of his experiences to paper. He prefers writing fiction on the grounds that it is safer.
This is a very fascinating read, taking place partly in the court rooms of the Old Bailey, which I used to walk past on my way to work.
I find the ongoings of legal procedures interesting, and the one invented here involves war crimes, murder, mental health and a government cover-up.
The characters are presented sympathetically, and I really felt for Melanie and her father.
The author clearly has a great understanding of the ins and outs of the law and the military/government which inform the plot.
The writing is clear and concise, making what could have been a dreary legal case into an action packed thrill, with Michael, Melanie’s GP father, even having some of the more adventurous moments.
Some of the book is shocking, and graphic, but not gratuitously so. There is also tenderness and love, and thankfully, a happy ending.
The relationship between Melanie and Michael is at the heart of the plot, the deep bond and love between father and daughter, as opposed to romantic bonds. This is presented well and enables the reader to connect with the characters and the plot.
All in all a very enjoyable and interesting read from an author I look forward to reading more from, and i wouldn’t mind if it was his autobiography!