- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1045 KB
- Print Length: 513 pages
- Publisher: HQ (25 January 2018)
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers (AU)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06Y3WF6QL
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 950 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,227 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Once A Pilgrim: Breathtaking SAS adventure fiction, a pulse-pounding thriller you won’t be able to put down (John Carr, Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 513 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Breathtaking SAS adventure fiction, a pulse-pounding thriller you won’t be able to put down--This text refers to the hardcover edition.
‘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.’
‘Fans of Andy McNab will lap up ONCE A PILGRIM by SAS veteran James Deegan, a cracking page-turner’ DAILY EXPRESS
‘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.'
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That was my last weekend ruined (according to my wife)
The plot was more than believable - you were always barracking for the good guy (John) but without spoiling it - there are some twists and turns along the way.
Looking forward to more from this author. BeeZed's all round.
Very good plot construction, with excellent use of flash-backs to times in the Para's and SAS.
The pace continues throughout the whole book. The author uses his recall of his own armed forces experience to offer realism and credibility to a fast paced story.
Overall, an excellent first book, competing and a match for Chris Ryan and Andy McNab.
Top international reviews
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.
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!
This book is action packed, hard hitting with strong, believable characters and situations. In fact, it doesn't require a large stretch of the imagination to get the impression that the author has an even more in depth knowledge of the atrocities committed by both sides during the "troubles" in Northern Ireland than the story portrays.
The narrative is so descriptive you can sense the tension which existed in Belfast at that time and the fear of falling foul of the IRA hierarchy.
Altogether, an excellent read and well deserving of five stars.
The book’s author, James Deegan, spent five years in the Parachute Regiment and seventeen years in the SAS. He completed multiple tours of duty during his service and was twice decorated for gallantry.
John Carr, the main character in Once A Pilgrim, is credible, human, authentic and I get a strong sense that he is somewhat of a composite of characters that the author will have undoubtedly encountered in his lengthy military career. With no James Bond-esque gadgets to save the day, John Carr relies on his highly tuned instincts, his high-level of skills and years of previous combat experience to stay alive and complete his mission.
The plot very effectively connects the reader from the present day, to an incident that happened a few decades earlier during the height of the troubles in Northern Ireland. Without giving away any ‘spoilers’, anyone who lived through those times, or is knowledgeable about them, will readily identify with life in the UK as it was back then.
Overall, the storyline has been extremely well thought through and researched - it’s almost like the author lived through part of it! It's hard to believe that this book is James Deegan's first novel. He writes with an easy authority and style that is typically attributed to the more experienced author.
Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style. Short powerful sentences. Terrific descriptors with a minimum of military jargon. A mix of short and longer chapters. All of which kept the story moving at a very fast pace, making it a genuine 'page turner'. Each time I picked up the book to read it, I found myself reading more than I originally intended, just because I wanted to know what happened next.
Finally, I've read over fifty books by authors in this genre such as, Lee Child, Chris Ryan, Andy McNab and several others. In my opinion, Once A Pilgrim deserves equal shelf space on the bookcase alongside these fine and established writers.
I've just bought the sequel, The Angry Sea' and look forward to reading and reviewing that one in due course. It wouldn't surprise me if Hollywood came calling as well... ideal role for Tom Hardy?
Firstly, Tom Clancy's 'Patriot Games'. In that book a high level Irish terrorist's brother is killed during an 'operation' so the former seeks revenge. Well guess what the general theme of 'Once a Pilgrim' is. Next is Stephen Leather's 'The Chinaman', which you may know from the movie staring Piers Brosnan but the film was called 'The Foreigner'. Here we have a high level Irish terrorist who is now a 'respectable' politician who still has 'connections'. The culmination of the action even takes place in a similar setting to the latter tale.
If you like action thrillers then you'll enjoy this, especially if you haven't read either of the aforementioned stories.
The plot rattles along at a good pace and I ended up finishing the book in a couple of sittings. With any luck a producer will pick up the rights to turn it into a TV drama; "Once A Pilgrim" is far superior story to BBC's "Bodyguard" for instance.
I've got Deegan's next John Carr novel on preorder.
I guess we should give the author a little leeway, especially as this was his first book. But if I’d been in a less patient frame of mind this review would have been a one star. There are too many acronyms thrown in at the start, almost as if the author is trying to prove something, being a Brit I knew most, however I suspect an American or antipodean would have really struggled.
I’m now moving onto book two, it will be interesting to find out if the writing style improves, I hope and expect it to.