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Bob Shepherd
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 April 2009

After nearly 20 years of SAS operations, including a never before published role in the infamous Bravo Two Zero patrol, Bob retired from the military to work as an advisor on the international commercial security circuit. Certain his most dangerous days were behind him, Bob settled into a sedate life looking after VIPs. Then 9/11 happened.

Bob found himself back in war zones on assignments far more perilous than anything he had encountered in the SAS: from ferrying journalists across firing lines in The West Bank and Gaza to travelling to the heart of Osama bin Laden’s Afghan lair. As part of a two-man team, Bob searched for ITN Correspondent Terry Lloyd’s missing crew in Basra, Iraq, while in Afghanistan he was forced to spend the night as the only Westerner in Khost – with a $25,000 bounty on his head.

As the War on Terror escalated, Bob contended with increasingly sophisticated insurgents. But the most disturbing development he witnessed was much closer to home: The Circuit’s rise from a niche business staffed by top veterans into an unregulated, billion dollar industry that too often places profits above lives. This is a pulse-racing and at times shocking testament to what is really happening, on the ground, in the major trouble spots of the world.

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The Circuit: AN EX-SAS SOLDIER / A SECRETIVE INDUSTRY / THE WAR ON TERROR / A TRUE STORY + Task Force Black: The explosive true story of the SAS and the secret war in Iraq
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Reprint edition (3 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330471929
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330471923
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd is an ex-SAS soldier and security advisor. During his twenty years of service with 22 SAS Regiment, Bob participated in the Oman campaign, the Iranian Embassy siege in London, The Falklands War, the first Gulf War and Bosnia. He left the Regiment in 1994 as a Warrant Officer and went to work on the international security circuit as an advisor to media, diplomats and VIPS. Bob's work in the private sector has taken him to some of the most volatile places on earth including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. He is a regular media commentator on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC One, BBC World, BBC Radio and SKY News. For more information on Bob or to read his insights on security issues and politics, please visit his blog;

Product Description

About the Author

Bob Shepherd served in the SAS for almost twenty years, participating in the Iranian Embassy siege in London, the Falklands War, the First Gulf War and Bosnia. He retired in 1994 as a Warrant Officer Class One and began a new career as an international security advisor. In other words, he joined The Circuit.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book written by a decent bloke. 12 Aug 2008
By Meredon
Bob Shepherd has the courage to point out that we have lost the plot as the politicians and accountants take over. Clear eyed, funny and modest this book takes us where most of us would not survive. We need people like Bob Shepherd - I hope that we realise it before it is too late.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking 16 Aug 2008
[[ASIN:0330455737 The Circuit: An Ex-SAS Soldier's True Account of One of the Most Powerful and Secretive Industries Spawned by the War on Terror]
A fascinating insight into the job of a 'Close Protection' operative.Bob Shepherd pulls no punches with his opinions about his fellow countrymen(and non fellow countrymen)who share the same profession,especially if they're not trained to his standard,which as you might guess after 23 years serving with 'The Regiment' are understandably high.If you're looking for a book crammed with boys own stories about damsels in distress and guns and explosions in true gruesome detail,then this definately is NOT the book for you.This is a story about a true professional in every sense of the word,who makes it his duty to understand the ways,traditions and historical backgrounds of the people he serves and meets on his adventures and operations in often very hostile environments.Oh yes,he also meets some very important and influential people(and the odd warlord)along the way...ENJOY.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly Honest and Contemporary Account. 14 May 2008
I must commend the author for putting together a series of very interesting accounts of a variety of private security operations, in various theatres, that expose the serious failings within the 'security' industry that has grown out of recent world events.

Equally commendable is the fact that this is not a detailed account of the authors career within the SAS. I have read a few of those and frankly they begin to repeat. Also, as the author alludes to, he doesn't want to give away trade secrets - which I completely agree with because, if I was serving within one of our elite units, I think I would feel that would be the worst sort of 'Compromise'.

The knowledge and skill that is depicted in the carrying out of security based tasks is exactly what I find interesting about Special Forces and how they conduct themselves - also the illustrations of how not to carry these tasks out is equally informative.

The complete lack of fearsome firefights within the book is to the authors credit - he was obviously doing a very good job! It is NOT short on drama however.

I especially Liked the thoughts presented regarding the Bravo 2 Zero Patrol of the 1st Gulf War. Brief but enlightening perspective.

This Book is an extremely good read - I would recommend this for those who would like an intelligent insight into the subject without any embellishment.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Close Protection as it should be. 8 Oct 2009
As an ex infantry soldier, I can relate to Bob Shepherd's skills.
He tells his story of how CP.,should be conducted in a highly dangerous environment. Quietly and efficiently.

His SAS training and insight are to his credit. I am sure the people he looked after are well pleased with his efforts.
As for the book I read it in a couple of hours, and I will pass it on to some of my old comrades.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME reading 9 Nov 2008
This is simply a magnificent read.I could not put it down.Bob Shepherd has seen it all, twenty years in the regiment followed by assignments on the circuit in hotspots such as:The West Bank and Gaza,Iraq and Afghanistan

Bobs professionalism shines through on every page and is in stark contrast to the glaring ineptitude of the American military forces. To think that he had to advise camp commanders on such basic principles as camp security or holding of hostages is gravely disturbing.But even more disturbing is the true cost of the global war on terror is being hidden by government departments who hire highly inept private security operators in place of properly trained and equipped military specialists.

This book is a revelation and Bob Shepherd pulls no punches and doesn't disguise his disquiet at the degeneration of The Circuit.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really put you in the picture 29 April 2012
By Layla
Format:Kindle Edition
Bob Sheperd has stepped forward and offered us an honest and articulate perspective to the ins and outs of work carried out by former soldiers in the phenominaly lucrative private military industry. Its clear that this is an industry that has resulted in the West abandoning its armed forces with under funding after losing sight of the big picture. Bob concentrates on the day to day actions and risks of working in tempramental and very hazardous locations, with no real support or strength in depth. Consequently he has to get it right first time as you only get unlucky once. Bob's proactive approach is very likely the reason he is in a position to write a book as opposed to many that have not returned from the work offered by the private military industry. And there has been many.Very insightful book on the inner working of the boys club that is the circuit!both I and my hubby enjouyed the 'through the looking glass' aspects of this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight into a hidden world 30 April 2009
By Bookfan
What a fantastic book! I can't remember the last time I read something I enjoyed as much as this. I'm definitely going to be recommending it to all my mates.

Bob Shepherd was in the SAS for 20 years before he became a private security advisor, and now he works in war zones all over the world, mainly protecting journalists and TV crews. The book begins with an Israeli soldier pointing a gun at Bob's head, and you feel like you're right there with him. I could feel my heart racing as I was reading it! And it only gets more exciting from then on.

The things Bob Shepherd has seen and done are quite incredible, and you're with him all the way when he comes face to face with Taliban soldiers looking to pick a fight, when he's running for his life as a sniper shoots at him, when he's dodging roadside ambushes and when he's trawling the stinking morgues looking for ITN's Terry Lloyd's body. Bob Shepherd is completely awe-inspiring and a true hero. This really is an amazing book of and I hope Bob writes a sequel soon!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking
Great read, we'll written. Have read many other books which include the author in the stories. This guy has had a very interesting life and has plenty to share on the things he's... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Christian R.
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Well written from someone who has been there, done it and has got the T shirt and who gives a fascinating insight into private security in such places as Iraq and Afghanistan. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Michael KNIGHT
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
I think circuit is a brilliant well written book and it has made me think now of the truth in the middle east with the attitude of the israelis as i also abmired their... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Peter Pasturel
2.0 out of 5 stars Misdiection and concealment
Misdirection and concealment are essential military skills especially in special forces environments where you are usually outnumbered.. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jeff
2.0 out of 5 stars Never judge a book by its cover....Or description...Or any information...
This book wasn't what I expected, plain and simple and so this is my own personal review, based on my own experience reading the book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by eastwood13
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb.
A greater understanding of the dangers of supposedly safe post war Iraq and Afghanistan can be found in this awesome book. Brave chap, brilliant writer.
Published 5 months ago by Vincent Bruno
5.0 out of 5 stars The Circuit
Always a good read when reading a true story, I guess there are some out there who would give his right arm to tell at times
Published 7 months ago by BB
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
A great personal account of one mans journey through the world of private security in the worlds hot spots from some one who does not feel the need to blow wind up his arse!
Published 8 months ago by J A C
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I thoroughly enjoyed the book - the author depicts his experiences well, and I found it very interesting to read about the 'other side' of security in the world's hotspots. Read more
Published 9 months ago by dilma
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
I was intrigued by some of the authors experiences and it was shocking to hear about the terrible state of privatised military contracts. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Scott Sanders
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