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Summary

John Carr has recently left the SAS, after a long and distinguished career, and is now working for a Russian oligarch in the murky world of private security. 

But an incident from his past - in which three terrorists were brutally killed - suddenly comes back to haunt him. 

Tracked by a hit man out for revenge, John Carr is forced to step over the line to defend himself and his family. It's a cruel and violent world - and one he thought he'd left behind. 

But some wars never end. 

Patriot Games meets Taken in Once a Pilgrim. John Carr shows all the Reacher-esque hallmarks of a cold-blooded antihero doing what needs to be done, whatever the consequences. 

James Deegan MC is a fantastic new voice in the thriller genre, writing with unprecedented authority and authenticity. 

Including an exclusive interview with the author. 

©2017 James Deegan (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"As close as it gets to the real thing." (Mark 'Billy' Billingham, MBE, former SAS Warrant Officer and star of TV's SAS: Who Dares Wins)
"Authentic detail and heart stopping narrative grips you from the outset bringing the shadowy world of today's special forces bursting in to life in a way that other authors of the genre couldn't hope for. The best thriller I've read in years." (Major Chris Hunter, QGM, author of Eight Lives Down and Extreme Risk)
"Exposes the raw with the reality. This is a gripping high intensity drama." (Bob Shepherd, ex SAS Warrant Officer and best-selling author)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I don’t say this lightly but the best book I’ve read!

What an outstanding book! Totally submersible in how it’s written and narrated. Brilliant lead character and the supporting characters are just as good.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts!


From the excellent opening scenes in the Middle East and Northern Island this story and its hero John Carr take a hold of you. Deegan of course has the weight of experience on his side as one of our most experienced special forces operatives. This doesn't always translate perfectly into the ability to write about it in an engaging manner but right from the off he nails it. The representation of Belfast and its denizens has a brilliant swirl of atmosphere about it that i have rarely seen done so well. Deegan's writinng made me feel like it was me and not John Carr walking down the Falls Road alone late at night!

Carr himself is a great lead and I will definitely be following this series for a long time if this is going to be the standard. Now Scotland gets its very own Jack Reacher antihero though there is definitely a touch more grit and realism to this one. If I was to be picky I would say that while his lead is great Deegan isn't shy of using a cliche character or two , Russians and women on the periphery of the story seemed to suffer the most in this one not least from Carr himself. Carr is a soldier who has been through the worst of experiences and his attitudes do reflect that in some ways though he also shows some good old-fashioned antihero nobility at times. It's that mix that makes us love these characters so much.

The narration is extremely well suited to John Carr himself and there is a good range of voices and accents even if one or two of the Irish women do sound more butch than Carr himself! That's a very minor quibble though as Joshua Manning does a fine job behind the microphone particularly with Carr and some of the IRA nasties.

In all this one of those prize audiobooks where author, narrator and of course the lead man all come together to create something that's definitely greater than the sum of its parts.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Never has a narrator spoiled a book more.

Great story. Really really good. The guy though who read it is woeful- I can’t even begin to tell you how badly he said simple words, not the same each time either. I’m going to email author and publishing house. English is his first language and English words was what he got wrong. Even easy words like hairbrush! His accents were quite good. Obviously no one proof listened which I find unbelievable but they can’t have. Perhaps 50 or so different words and names were all but unrecognisable. Ruined a really good story.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sandy
  • Dunfermline, United Kingdom
  • 15-04-18

Believable ex-SAS tale

Thoroughly entertaining book slightly spoiled by the story reader's lack of military knowledge, e.g. "Twenty one C" for "2i/c" and "arms cachet" for " arms cache", etc. However, not his fault, the author or his agent should have proof-read/!istened before release. Nit-picking aside, I look forward to his next book, hopefully more "mad John Carr ".

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant first book

Brilliant first book, very good description information looking forward to the coming Carr series, thanks

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Simply epic

I love this genre and this is simply the best book I have ever read.
And I have read a lot.
I cannot praise this book more highly.
Massively recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Excellent!!

This is probably the best book I have ever read! It was exciting, realistic and kept my interest throughout. No sign of padding which some books contain.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great plot badly narrated

The story of this book is great ill start with that. Can't fault the story line however there is so much padding its difficult to keep track of what's happened. I understand publishers need certain word counts but this deviates from the plot nearly every paragraph with useless information like "character walks in to bar everyone stares at him he orders a drink..whiskey....on the rocks...cold he's not had one for a while can't remember when was it when I was a in London I've been to London bridge before with my wife blah blah." It gets frustrating. Just stick to the plot and character backgrounds. This is Deegans first book hope the next irons out some of these points. Now the narrator..he has zero experience narrating military based novels. Basis things like reading PIRA (provisional IRA) as P.I.R.A. Every time. And 2IC (2nd in command) as 21 C. Mispronouncing Shankill road as Skankhill road, reading 2COY as its written rather that 2 company as its meant to be said. Getting accents and place names wrong. I'm sure he's been good with other novels but this really didn't suit his style it was very unanimated and not at all exiting to listen to. In summary you are better off downloading kindle version or buying the book.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

superb first outting

This book hits the ground running and never really slows down.

As a proud Ulstermen I have read novels placed in and around my home town and often the language used isn't quite there. All I will say is it's obvious how much time JD has spent on the ground, amongst the people in Ulster.

I thought the character development was excellent. Enough detail to decide if they were loved or hated. Portrayal of players who were living in the past was ridiculously accurate and the compromise of the main character was tragically plausible in our modern world.

After I read the novel I also listened to it, I found myself slowing down just to get In an extra couple chapters.

James if there is a mailing list please include me, I can't wait to see where this goes

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • danny
  • blackburn,uk
  • 18-12-18

Brilliant from start to finish

Loved it! Really well read as well hooked immediately can't wait till the next book

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  • PSH
  • 07-08-18

Good book, great narration

Deegan's book is good, though the plot is quite conventional. Manning's narration is truly excellent!