• Publication date: 30 Aug 2019
  • Publisher: riverrun
  • Language: English


The Noble Path is Peter May’s explosive standalone thriller set in Cambodia and Thailand amid the bloody reign of the Khmer Rouge


Cambodia, 1978. Amid the Khmer Rouge’s crazed genocide, soldier-of-fortune Jack Elliott is given the impossible task of rescuing a family from the regime.


Eighteen-year-old orphan and budding journalist Lisa Robinson has received the impossible news that her father is, in fact, alive. His name – Jack Elliott.


As Jack tracks the hostages and Lisa traces her heritage, each is intent on reuniting a family. Yet to succeed, so must run a dangerous gauntlet of bullets and betrayal.


I’m usually a huge fan of Peter May, particularly his books in the Lewis trilogy.

This was a reissue of a novel written by Peter May back in the 198O’s. I must admit that I was a tad disappointed that it wasn’t another one of Peter May’s excellent novels set in Scotland. This is a strong book nevertheless, with portrayals of life in Cambodia during the civil war and genocide of a nation 1975-79 under the new name of Kampuchea, as it was subsequently renamed under the control of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot.

John Elliot, a former officer in the British Army who was once jailed in disgrace has now become a soldier of fortune, a mercenary or assassin for hire and will take on difficult assignments if the price is good. He is asked to rescue a family out of the hell of Kampuchea by a former Vietnamese businessman, now very wealthy and an American citizen, who left his family and his conscience behind when he escaped and left them behind. The job is a dangerous one and a team of other mercenaries is recruited to join the mission.

Unfortunately, John Elliot has an estranged relationship with his daughter who travels to Thailand to find her father. He also has a price on his head for his involvement in a killing in Northern Ireland.

With some tense action scenes but also heartbreaking examples of life for the broken people who are left behind to be used and abused by the soldiers of the Khmer Rouge, once the middle classes and intellectuals of the nation have been systematically executed bringing the nation back to the Middle Ages.

I can remember this time in history and reading the articles at the time published by the award winning John Pilger, a war correspondent and one of the only journalists of that time to be reporting on the horrors of the genocide. It was difficult to read the heartbreaking articles at the time I remember.

An interesting book, a fast paced one but not one that I feel is Peter May’s best.

With thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley

About the Author

Peter May was born and raised in Scotland. He was an award-winning journalist at the age of twenty-one and a published novelist at twenty-six. When his first book was adapted as a major drama series for the BCC, he quit journalism and during the high-octane fifteen years that followed, became one of Scotland’s most successful television dramatists. He created three prime-time drama series, presided over two of the highest-rated serials in his homeland as script editor and producer, and worked on more than 1,000 episodes of ratings-topping drama before deciding to leave television to return to his first love, writing novels.

He has won several literature awards in France, received the USA’s Barry Award for The Blackhouse, the first in his internationally bestselling Lewis Trilogy; and in 2014 was awarded the ITV Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read of the Year award for Entry Island. Peter now lives in South-West France with his wife, writer Janice Hally.

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