Ian Laver, Jun 16, 2021 - 426 pages
Following the death of his estranged father, Theo travels to Malaysia to try to understand why his father abandoned him and his mother 16 years earlier. Theo's father, Vince, and his best mate, Jack, disappeared after the Vietnam War, unable to settle back into Australia. Full of youthful bravado, 22-year-old Theo has his conservative Adelaide values tested from the moment of touchdown. Jack is nowhere to be found.
Malaysia is an ancient land full of beauty and wisdom and as he discovers rapidly, a deadly underworld. Theo blunders along, confidence rapidly evaporating, from one bad situation to worse. He purchases a book called 'Beyond Pardon' which shocks him but eventually provides him with answers. Two Malaysian women seem to control his destiny - one, Biru, a beautiful young Muslim woman with whom he falls in love; the other an ancient, wise, tribal woman from Borneo who knows more than she ought about him. But even they cannot save him from a terrifying period of imprisonment.
Theo is released under a cloud of mystery and although more danger looms, he can make a more realistic appraisal of his situation. He has been accused of a drug crime, implicated by association in other serious criminal matters involving his late father, has fallen in love with a Muslim woman whose suitor takes ultimate offence, and the police are watching his every move. And Jack, the one man who could help, is impossible to locate. Theo realises in this different world decisions of life and death sit on the razor's edge.