- Hardcover: 512 pages
- Publisher: HQ (25 Jan. 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0008229473
- ISBN-13: 978-0008229474
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 4.2 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 419 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Once A Pilgrim (John Carr, Book 1) (A John Carr thriller) Hardcover – 25 Jan 2018
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‘Inevitably Deegan will be compared to Andy McNab and Chris Ryan, but he adds his own brand of contemporary authenticity. Carr is a hero for our times.’
‘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
‘James Deegan write with masterful authority and unsurpassed experience as he transports the reader deep into the troubles of Northern Ireland – and then brings them back up to date with a dramatic bang. Uncertain times require certain people, and ex-SAS operator John Carr fits that bill. A tough, enigmatic man from the shadows, he is brought to life in this fast-paced, easy-reading thriller, and is bound to end up on screen. The character detail is credible but not clinical, and ONCE A PILGRIM will undoubtedly introduce James Deegan and John Carr as forces to be reckoned with.’
Chantelle Taylor, Combat Medic and author of Battleworn
‘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 bestselling author
‘Move over Andy McNab and Chris Ryan, there’s a new SAS veteran writing thrillers and he’s good. Very good.’
'An impressive debut, that rates up there with Gerald Seymour and Fredrick Forsyth; blending a realistic vernacular of special forces soldiering to make a cracking read with page turning pace from start to finish.'
About the Author
JAMES DEEGAN MC spent five years in the Parachute Regiment, and seventeen years in the SAS. He served for most of that time in a Sabre Squadron, from Trooper to Squadron Sergeant Major, and saw almost continuous service on operations in Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. He fought in both Gulf Wars, and was on both occasions amongst the first Coalition soldiers to cross the border into Iraq. Twice decorated for gallantry, he retired as an SAS Regimental Sergeant Major and was described by his commanding officer as ‘one of the most operationally-experienced SAS men of his era’. Once A Pilgrim is his first book.
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It's also nice to find a new author who has actually had the book proof read before publishing rather than relying on the first readers and then updating as they go along.
I have no doubt that many of the events mentioned in the book are actually anecdotes from the author's own service and I look forward immensely to reading the further adventures of John Carr. I'm pretty sure the author's autobiography would also be an excellent read!
Having served in NI both as regular green army on the streets/fields and also finally in an Int role, my background really helped the imagination with this book. Hand on heart, JD nails everything in his writing, from the initial thoughts and emotions of an inexperienced soldier leaving the relative safety of the SF base for the first time, right through to reflective thoughts on various actions on, everything is meticulously and flawlessly described.
In just over an inch and a half thickness, this hardback fires the reader through the amazing detail and speed of a building assault by a callsign of Blades in Iraq, the hate filled streets of murderous, sectarian Op Banner era Belfast, the perceived 'James Bond' world of glitzy glamour CP contracts with dubious Russian billionaires and their trappings, to a fight for personal survival where game keeper becomes poacher.
I knew the areas in NI mentioned in the book due to my previous work and I know another of the areas in the book as I lived round there for many many years so I can personally vouch for this work of 'fiction', 'novel' or whatever other label its filed under. Its fast paced, brilliantly detailed, totally engrossing and makes me wish my current employer gave me a Porsche as a present while I sipped obscenely priced finest Scotch ....
For James' first book, Once a Pilgrim sits comfortably at the top of the modern day crop of associated Regiment writings and considering the company it keeps on that particular shelf, the former ultimate Razzman is dead on and should now be firing for effect.
In the audio version there are some mistakes in the reading - not the authors fault - for example describing someone as ‘twenty-one C of a brigade’ I think 2i/c was meant!
As you would expect from an author who was in the sas,Deegan writes with precision and detail that describes the thinking behind an operation. He goes behind the scenes of what its like for Carr early on in his sas career and what ex sas men do after the ultimate career service.
The book highlights the merky world of the IRA and the russians and how even to this day the dangers both at home in britain and ireland are still present, presenting what it could be like for any ex sas man going into the world of private security and what its like dealing with the past.
Superb read and an eye opener and a testiment to the old age motto of
He who dares wins
This book is a must read!
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