'Paddy Mayne' by Hamish Ross is, so far as I am aware, the third biography of Blair Mayne, who was one of the leading lights of the wartime SAS - the other books are 'Rogue Warrior of the SAS' by Roy Bradford and Martin Dillon and the rather hagiographic 'Colonel Paddy' by Patrick Marrinan. Of the three, I happen to think that Ross' book is the best.
Ross bemoans the fact that Mayne was denied the Victoria Cross, which he so richly deserved and who was instead awarded a third bar to his DSO. I happen to agree; and given Mayne's magnificent fighting record, a couple of Military Crosses and a post-war OBE would not have come amiss.
In common with many fighting men, who display cold-blooded ferocity during battle, Mayne was prone to bouts of sentimentality during periods of calm and Hamish Ross has quite obviously carried out meticulous and detailed research regarding his subject. But has he gone too far in endeavouring to whitewash Mayne's character? Possibly. Ross is a very fine writer but all the way through his book, he continually belittles, criticises and contradicts the research carried out by Messrs Bradford and Dillon for their book. Whether he's right or wrong, this he should not do; it is unprofessional and for a writer as good as Hamish Ross, there is no excuse, nor any need for it.
The book is a good one, and I look forward to reading more from the pen of Hamish Ross.