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Brock Clayards is a retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police (R.C.M.P.) officer. He is experienced in general policing, but also spent time in Ottawa specialising in counter terrorism.
He is now a writer – his first novel, Pacific Flyways, is a mystery – and his current historical adventure, Chasing the Dragon’s Tail, is inspired by Brock’s great-grandfather, whose exploits in the Boxer Rebellion in China, with early policing in Victoria and in the defense of Victoria before the First World War, stimulated Brock’s creative imagination.
Brock and his wife live on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
on Nov. 12, 2012 :
This is a wonderful start to the author's writing career. I found it well written, with few if any physical errors such as spelling, typos, punctuation or layout. The setting is well described, but the characters a bit soft. They fill in as the book progresses, but could do with even more rounding out. I found the action sequences superb, well researched and Clayards obviously draws on his own past as a police officer. Where he excels there is that he does not fall victim to stereotyping his officers, but delves somewhat into the impact that their actions have on their own emotional well being.
I hope to see more from Brock Clayards, and hope that he may even do a sequil.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on Oct. 24, 2012 :
The book was fast paced and I loved the superb setting descriptions as I live in the same area. There was a lot of action happening which is great but it came at the cost of character development. I would have preferred that one or two of the characters be more in depth to give me a framework for the story which involved multi-settings and multi-characters.
I found the first few chapters a bit stilted and almost put it down. I am very glad I pushed through that to discover an entertaining, interconnected web of suspense. I think that Brock did a wonderful job of keeping the book hopping and bringing all the story lines to a final conclusion.
I would certainly purchase another book by this author. I had the impression of experience in writing be gained as this first book progressed making me eager to see what he will achieve in a second book.
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)
on Sep. 23, 2012 :
Review by Lou Allin, http://www.louallin.com/
The larger-than-life scenic Pacific Northwest is the jeweled setting for Brock Clayards' new thriller. A small RCMP detachment on Vancouver Island becomes the epicentre for a terrorist plot. A sinister pair with Middle Eastern connections have targeted birds of the Pacific Flyways, a natural route, to kick off an avian flu virus deadly to humans. If their plot succeeds, it's only a matter of time before chaos ensues.
On board is Graydon Swift, a rookie constable posted to Pasquin Cove, an out-of-the-way fishing village, and a perfect place for the operatives to work without notice. Boats come and go, fishing, shrimping, and crabbing. The modest and polite Graydon is quick to notice the attractive Janice Mason, a fisheries officer. Problem is, Janice has also earned the attentions of another newbie, the arrogant Gord Masters. In such a quiet hamlet, liaisons quickly become town gossip, something the RCMP's upper management does not want, considering its ongoing bad publicity.
But a conspiracy is taking shape. "Aquil wasn't his real name. It was a code name to divert unwanted attention by authorities in Canada and other western countries. Operating quietly from Calgary, Alberta, as an engineer with the Iranian National Petroleum Industry, he moved within Middle Eastern and Canadian cultures blending the two worlds as a consultant and lobbyist." Remaining in the shadows, Aquil issues his directives for his operatives.
Sal Nelson and Marta MacKenzie have been planted in the US and Canada under the aegis of an animal rights group, the APB. With the reputation of such groups for dangerous action, they are the perfect scapegoat. The first step is stealing the virus itself from a Michigan lab, a feat in itself. Then they assume the identities of a west-coast ecotourism couple and the race is on.
Clayards has boating knowledge and the island culture down pat, living north of Victoria. He's as at home in a zippy Zodiac, a trawler or a motor yacht. The laid-back atmosphere of the sun-drenched summers punctuated by ferry life contrasts with the swift-moving horrors to come:
"The ferry docked and cars rolled off, past a line of vehicle and foot passenger traffic waiting to take their place. Sal started their Nissan, inching forward in line as they crept carefully over the bump in the loading ramp and began to negotiate a winding climbing road into the heart of the island. It was a glorious autumn day with clear skies and pleasant temperatures. Once away from the water, Sal was struck by the crackling dry odour of sunburned grass, dead Arbutus leaves and Scotch broom."
The plot races from one nail-biting crisis to another, whether speeding across the waves, getting fogged in around treacherous shoals, or navigating the amoral traps of the strait. Nature is a cruel mistress who can reward one mistake with injury or even death.
Those who like a touch of romance will enjoy the consternation of the mild-mannered rookie who falls fast for the delicious redhead. The human condition is full of contradictions, and it isn't always the best man or woman who wins. Graydon's self-conscious insecurities put a refreshing face on the fictional stage.
This novel may take place in a small part of the world, but as in all epidemics and eruptions of violence, the butterfly effect of an action halfway across the globe can reach your backyard before you know it.
(reviewed the day of purchase)