Synopsis Northern Iraq, 2004 - a lawless region of rock, sand, scrub and warring factions, so dangerous the regular Coalition armies were reluctant to put their soldiers in harm's way up there. Enter the 'civilian contractors': private armies in all but name, with state of the art funding, equipment and training, packing immense firepower and staffed by veterans of the world's elite forces. Working in small groups alongside the US Army, men from all corners of the globe volunteered to risk their lives day after day fighting someone else's war - and all for a few bucks and a suntan...One of these mercenaries was Peter Mercer. An ex-Royal Marine and former member of the navy's elite SBS, Peter's been to some pretty hot places before but even he didn't know what to expect. A warm welcome was extended when within minutes of his arrival into northern Iraq he came under intense mortar and small-arms fire. But, that was just the start of 9 months of high-tempo missions putting him literally right on the firing line. Scouting for roadside bombs; safeguarding the Iraqi elections; taking down hit-and-run insurgent forces - the frenetic life of the mercenary changed from one week to the next, but the constants remained: dirt, danger, excitement, and the ever-present gallows humour in the face of huge casualty rates.But, the story does not end with tales of intense fire-fights and silent night patrols. It goes much deeper. Sent on suicidal runs designed to draw out the enemy insurgents, Peter's team were going into places even the US Army didn't care to send its troops. They were expendable men, charged with making the hard yards on behalf of the most sophisticated army in the world. And when the orders started coming right from the top - from the CIA itself - things really started to heat up...Sprinkling his story with incredibly candid anecdotes encompassing the adrenaline of battle, and reflecting on the humour and absurdity of life on the frontline, Peter Mercer takes us on an unforgettable journey through the dangerous backstreets of 21st-century Iraq, and reveals that the realities of the ongoing War on Terror are not all that they seem. Reviews Laj Gilliver's I actually served on this project and can catagorically say that this book is pure fantasy. I am certainly not Ex Special Forces. None of the Brits on this project were Special Forces. Pete Mercer was never ever Special Forces, however he did drive boats for them. The book itself I feel is complete disgrace to the memory of the 2 fallen comrades on the project. Mercer was on the project for 5 months. He was terminated due to the fact he was an alcoholic and had lost the respect of the Fijians that made up the majority of the project. I know this as I was his team leader and recommended his termination. He never served as a Team Leader and the one contact we had together he managed to shoot an innocent donkey. Once back into the safty of base he lept straight into the arms of a bottle and was not seen again for a day. A knowledgible old friend, 25 Sep 2008 By Knowlegible old friend "Knowlegible" (UK) - See all my reviews Having known Pete Mercer for over ten years nothing that he has written surprises me, it only deeply dissapoints me and it is a massive disgrace to all who have served in the armed forces, especially those who are no longer with us to counter his claims. The only war he has ever fought in is the bottle, there are plenty of excellent books about the war in Iraq, written by real hero's who were actually there, and did make a difference to the people of that country. There is a book by Walter Mitty he might have had a hand in. Rubbish book again, 11 Sep 2008 By A. B. Tennant (poole) - See all my reviews I worked with mercer in the Royal Marines in the Boat Team attached to the SBS. He wrote a book about the SBS shortly after leaving the marines which was not very well reviewed. This book is a complete fanasty as was his last one. It would not be worth buying this book for the simple reason that it is not based on fact either. I think there are better authors out there concerning Iraq deployments, security contracts etc. Exaggeration and Self Importance, 8 Sep 2008 By Miss Representation "Miss Representation" - See all my reviews I worked with Pete on this project. His claims are grossly overstated and events are completely untrue. This mission was only for humanitarian escort support and certainly not offensive operations as he claims. The missions carried out never came from CIA and were certainly not with the purpose of drawing out an enemy for engagement. It is unfortunate that this book was written with little if any fact checking or verification. The people who worked with Pete are very dissappointed that he has twisted the truth and published such a book full of misrepresentation for his own gain.