Listen free for 30 days

Once a Pilgrim

Narrated by: Joshua Manning
Length: 12 hrs and 56 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (894 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

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

"Exposes the raw with the reality. This is a gripping high intensity drama." (Bob Shepherd, ex SAS Warrant Officer and best-selling author)
"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)

What listeners say about Once a Pilgrim

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    682
  • 4 Stars
    166
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    10
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    604
  • 4 Stars
    156
  • 3 Stars
    45
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    13
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    624
  • 4 Stars
    156
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    9

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • G
  • 26-07-18

Excellent Story, but dreadful narration!

Great story, but poor narration, with a very poor attempt at Irish and Northern Irish accents and some criminal mispronunciation. If I was the author (who obviously has done his homework) I'd be very disappointed by the audible performance!

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Decent enough plot, rubbish narration!

The story itself is quite good but for me the whole thing was ruined by terrible accents and such badly mispronounced words you'd almost think it was done on purpose! Place names such as Shankill (pronounced Shank Hill) and Camlough (pronounced Camlow, go figure!) and, unbelievably, at one point Co. Meath (i.e. County Meath) was pronounced as Comeath!!!! WT?

All of the Irish participants bar one or two were of Belfast origin yet had Dublin accents and those two accents couldn't be more different! It was comical in places!

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Narration

The narration spoilt a good book. Far, far too many dodgy pronunciations. Really poor. Unprofessional.

Since when has “lough” been pronounced as “louw”, “ETA” - the separatist movement - as “eeteeay”. There are loads of similar examples. Don’t pay the clown for his crass efforts.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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 ".

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

The usual SAS type stuff but with no morals

I found the story predictable nd the SAS was standard enough but... I couldn't stomach his appetite and enjoyment of violence (stamping on people's face) and killing 20 people in revenge for one life of a friend.

4 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for PSH
  • 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!