This is an extraordinary autobiography which moves rapidly from the battlefields of Bosnia to the war-shredded jungles of Sri Lanka by way of a host of unlikely destinations: the north west frontier province of Pakistan; the ganglands of Albania; the sands of the Sahara Desert; the streets of Algiers; and the volcano wracked island of Montserrat.
The author's work as a military and defence writer, frequently working under cover for some rather unlikely clients, has given him an inside track on some of the more remarkable events of the last twenty years like the downing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, the ending of the war in Bosnia and the fate of Osama bin Laden.
He has an instinct for survival. His 'plane was destroyed by a fighter aircraft on the runway in Ljubljana as the wars in Yugoslavia broke out in 1991. He was close enough to witness the bomb explosion which completely destroyed the centre of the Sri Lankan capital in 1996, from where he was expelled, in 2002, after upsetting the rebel Tamil Tigers. He almost died in Kosovo after some unsought close contact with dead bodies. He worked in China for The Shanghai Daily newspaper and in Colombo for The Daily Telegraph, but it was his work, for almost a decade, for Jane's Intelligence Review, and the murky world of intelligence gathering, which would ultimately force his early retirement after international terrorists issued a directive for his assassination. Only after that threat was removed, very recently, was he able to return to the UK and publication of this book was made possible.
Former British UN commander in Bosnia, Colonel Bob Stewart, recalls his impressions of the author in the Foreword to this book.
'I realised that he was truly a 'renaissance man' whose interests, knowledge and international understanding went far beyond the Balkans. He has had an incredibly interesting life: this book shows that clearly . . . a very brave man'