A fast-paced action thriller inspired by real events in the aftermath of the Iraq War.
With Saddam Hussein deposed and an entire country in need of rebuilding, former Royal Marine John Pierce hears the siren call of adventure and opportunity. His fledgling UK business is struggling to support his young family and he has connections in the Iraqi capital - fate seems to point one way.
In early 2004, Pierce rolls the dice when he jumps into a taxi in Jordan and heads for the turmoil of postwar Baghdad to grab a share of the reconstruction gold rush. But when Iraq spirals into the hell of a full-blown insurgency, he must rely on his wits and his local friends if he's to evade the rampant bloodshed.
As the action rolls across the blood-stained Iraqi landscape and embraces London's seedy underbelly, Pierce tangles with the authorities at home and finds himself thrust into the heart of British and American covert operations against Al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Having set out with little more than ambitious goals and an appetite for risk, can a determined ex-bootneck survive the mounting chaos unscathed and succeed in hitting the jackpot?
Thanks to Emma at damppebbles Tours for my copy of the debut thriller, Appetite for Risk by Jack Leavers.
An ex marine himself, Jack Leavers has written a story that is based on his very own experiences of Iraq at the time, when the coalition seized power and ousted Saddam.
John pierce, ex marine, in financial trouble decides to try his luck, and try to cash in on postwar Baghdad.
I almost instantly found myself being taken into Iraq, this book is such an immersive experience. The setting of the scenes, feel so authentic, and as Jack himself has said to me over Twitter conversations, the reasons he was able to do this so well is because he was there!
It doesn’t feel like fiction, written in the first person, it reads exactly as if Jack Leavers is telling us his own story. There is quite a lot of military talk aswell.
The first, maybe half of the book is a slow burner as the story is set and as John makes his contacts in Iraq.
But the tension and action are really ratched up in the 2nd half of this barn storming military thriller.
Overall this for me is an excellent story of Iraq, and the aftermath of the coalition, it’s certainly nothing like I've read before.
Jack Leavers is a former Royal Marine with over thirty-years’ experience spread across the military, private security, corporate investigations, maritime counter-piracy, and risk management. His varied career has included numerous deployments to conflict zones around the world such as Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, trouble spots in Africa, and the Somali pirate-infested waters of the Indian Ocean.
Jack continues to work in challenging environments and has now begun to pen novels inspired by some of the more enterprising projects that got the green light, and other audacious plans that didn’t.
The current WIP is a follow up to Appetite for Risk that sees ex-bootneck John Pierce return to face a ruthless enemy in Africa.
Jack is normally based in London, UK, but finds he’s at his most productive writing-wise when deployed overseas. Trips to Iraq and Africa beckon, so the follow up should be finished soon.