Viktor Bout was, in the eyes of most international law enforcement, the world's most wanted criminal. Drugs, guns, missiles- in fact just about anything that anyone wanted then he could supply, for a price.
- Damien Lewis
This was no ordinary criminal, no petty smuggler. This was on the grand scale. He even owned his own airline! The CIA, MI6, and all the other sundry groups with initials sought him, but he was secure in his office in Moscow. Secure because the Russian state was a partner in his enterprises and they do protect their interests. Bout seemed unassailable, no one could get near enough to capture him, until Mike Snow came along, and that was by chance.
Snow was a bush pilot, a former member of 22nd S.A.S and an adventurer. It was while operating his own small airline in Africa that he had got to know Viktor and a chance remark at a social evening with one of Snow's old friends led the DEA to contact him and to persuade him to work with them to capture Bout.
As always Damien Lewis tells a damned good story. This is non-fiction but reads like a novel and the narrative flows nicely. Lewis' style allows for a measure of dramatisation for effect, and certainly works for me. The characters spring out of the page and are easy to envisage. The action is well told and keeps the reader enthralled. I could see this as a television series or even a film and would enjoy it.
A good rattling read and very well worth having.