action/adventure: IN MY BLOOD
by Greg Waggett
Greg Waggett's enthusiasm for experiences abroad was kindled by an overland trip to Nepal in 1970, a time when going through places like Afghanistan and Iran was comparatively straightforward.
Following this, he joined the British army, firstly as a rifleman, then as an infantry officer. He left after eight years which saw six tours in Northern Ireland, and worked in Libya in agri-business operations for another eight years. (He was in Tripoli, the capital, when the US carried out punitive bombing raids in 1986 - a dramatic and nerve-wracking event which is described as a flashback in one of the book's chapters.)
After his time in North Africa, he set up and ran a design and advertising agency in Cambridge.
In 2002, his circumstances forced him to make fundamental changes. After a period of adjustment, he turned to working overseas in private security for the next few years. These experiences took him to Iraq, Kuwait, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan and, latterly, Afghanistan. (Afghanistan will be covered separately.)
SOME REVIEWS for In my Blood (on the jacket/cover):
"I have just re-read your book. I was up in Malakal over the weekend and once more I greatly enjoyed it, in particular your story about breaking out of jail in Juba!" Simon F, PSC executive in Iraq and Africa
"Greg is the quintessential English adventurer. He doesn't mind getting his hands dirty in dangerous places. But always with impeccable manners and an ironic smile. And he can write." Mike G, former 22 SAS soldier, publisher, round-the-world-alone-sailor, and entrepreneur
"A rich account, skilfully blending a life in security with military tactics, political commentary, travelogue, and high comedy. A must read." Bill L, financial consultant
"A modest, highly readable and often very funny account of work in dangerous places." Michael M, retd Lt Col, special duties Northern Ireland, tour officer BRIXMIS, and special branch Hong-Kong
"His writing has panache and an immediacy pitching you into events and scene-setting. But there is also reflection and insight." Ivan R-S, civil engineer, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia
"He writes compellingly to inform, entertain, and make you feel almost there. A rare accomplishment." Tony B, ex Royal Navy, Royal Geographical Society, and environment consultant, China
"Reading about his adventures is rivetting - and always interesting." Diana W, housewife
"I must confess it was a one-sitting cover-to-cover read." Todd F, CP operative and former member of the South African Defence Forces.
A true account, this book (hardcover,224 pages) is about a man drawn into the world of security overseas. Something of a maverick, he sees this as a fresh start after his personal and professional lives go belly-up. So, when most people are hanging up their boots, he kicks off by joining a private security company and heads out to Iraq.
But it is his time in Africa which gives the book another dimension. Here, he has to deal with menacing officials in state security and the threat of expulsion. An erstwhile warlord becomes an unlikely ally. Then, on one occasion, he is arrested by a vindictive colonel, and locked up. After making a bold escape he is faced with a dilemma that is both agonising and hilarious.
There are other lighter moments, too. His fascinating and vivid accounts are written with verve and pace. They take you not just to Iraq, but also to Libya when it was a rogue state, Kuwait, the splendour of East Africa, and war-torn Sudan.
In sum, A rich account, skilfully blending a life in security with military tactics, political commentary, travelogue and high comedy. A varied and enjoyable book with broad appeal.
Available in UK