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What are you reading right now?

'SPQR' by Mary Beard, which I note has been read by a number of others here (@winged , @Grim_Squeaker85 and @seaweed (RIP)). It is good, there's no doubt, and Seaweed was right in his comments that: she disabuses the reader of all sorts of things he 'knew' and explains the paucity of sources and the dubious veracity of some we do have. At all times she makes very clear how little we really know and which bits are to be trusted and how there are huge gaps in the narrative.

One small niggle I have is that she occasionally loses her objectivity and relates or compares to modern social mores; feminism and Blairism spring to mind. That's very rare, though, and doesn't spoil the story.
 

Karamoja

War Hero
The Sentinel, the Jack Reacher that Lee Child didn't write. I got the book before reading this review:


Ouch.
Disappointing, I was hoping the change would have breathed new life into Reacher because under Lee they had definitely gone off the boil, the last being particularly awful.
 
Courage Under Fire by Daniel Keighran VC together with Tony Park. There is a sub-title that really describes this book in a nutshell: An ordinary soldier, an extraordinary day, a lifelong legacy.

There have been 4 Victoria Crosses of Australia awarded for bravery in Afghanistan, 3 of them to special forces (1 posthumously) and the other to Cpl. Keighran who was a member of Delta Company 6 Battalion RAR. For those with an interest in Australian military history will recall that this was the company that fought Long Tan in 1966.

Keighran describes himself as introspective and to a certain extent this comes out in the book. He describes his difficult childhood unemotionally with his only praise for his maternal grandfather to whom he credits his development as a person and to a lesser extent, his mother. You don't realise his detestation for his father until much later in the book.

Even his description of the action for which he was awarded the VC is described in relatively unemotional tones. For those who haven't heard of the action, it took place in Derapet on 24 August 2010 where a joint patrol of Australian and ANA forces were engaged by a large number of Taliban. Keighran deliberately ran from his concealed position on three occasions to draw enemy fire away from where others were working to stabilise a wounded comrade (a friend who subsequently died) and to allow a JTAC to positively identify enemy positions to direct artillery fire or air assets.

Keighran's award was very late in coming as the recommendation from his CO and countersigned by the Australian commander in Afghanistan was lost in the paperwork and it was only the efforts of those who served with him on that fateful day who started to question what was happening that it was discovered that it has been lost. So the process was started all over again.

The final sections of the book are devoted to how he was informed he could be awarded the VC (it is optional), the extremely limited time he had to consider the option (seconds), the ceremony, the white-washing of his family background and highs and lows that followed. At the time there were 3 other VC awardees, Keith Payne VC, (why someone hasn't written that man's biography I will never understand), Mark Donaldson VC and Ben Roberts-Smith VC, all of who wrote or spoke to Keighran to warn him of what was to come.

This is not a book if you want the heat of action described but it is a description of what happens when an ordinary man finds himself in an extraordinary position and what happens after. Well with reading.

1604229276353.png
 
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Courage Under Fire by Daniel Keighran VC together with Tony Park. There is a sub-title that really describes this book in a nutshell: An ordinary soldier, an extraordinary day, a lifelong legacy.

There have been 4 Victoria Crosses of Australia awarded for bravery in Afghanistan, 3 of them to special forces (1 posthumously) and the other to Cpl. Keighran who was a member of Delta Company 6 Battalion RAR. For those with an interest in Australian military history will recall that this was the company that fought Long Tan in 1966.

Keighran describes himself as introspective and to a certain extent this comes out in the book. He describes his difficult childhood unemotionally with his only praise for his maternal grandfather to whom he credits his development as a person and to a lesser extent, his mother. You don't realise his detestation for his father until much later in the book.

Even his description of the action for which he was awarded the VC is described in relatively unemotional tones. For those who haven't heard of the action, it took place in Derapet on 24 August 2010 where a joint patrol of Australian and ANA forces were engaged by a large number of Taliban. Keighran deliberately ran from his concealed position on three occasions to draw enemy fire away from where others were working to stabilise a wounded comrade (a friend who subsequently died) and to allow a JTAC to positively identify enemy positions to direct artillery fire or air assets.

Keighran's award was very late in coming as the recommendation from his CO and countersigned by the Australian commander in Afghanistan was lost in the paperwork and it was only the efforts of those who served with him on that fateful day who started to question what was happening that it was discovered that it has been lost. So the process was started all over again.

The final sections of the book are devoted to how he was informed he could be awarded the VC (it is optional), the extremely limited time he had to consider the option (seconds), the ceremony, the white-washing of his family background and highs and lows that followed. At the time there were 3 other VC awardees, Keith Payne VC, (why someone hasn't written that man's biography I will never understand), Mark Donaldson VC and Ben Roberts-Thompson VC, all of who wrote or spoke to Keighran to warn him of what was to come.

This is not a book if you want the heat of action described but it is a description of what happens when an ordinary man finds himself in an extraordinary position and what happens after. Well with reading.

View attachment 516813
Excellent summary - I'll seek it out to read. But, please note it is Ben Roberts-Smith VC, if you'll excuse me being pedantic.
 
Excellent summary - I'll seek it out to read. But, please note it is Ben Roberts-Smith VC, if you'll excuse me being pedantic.

Thank you - I have edited my post and later will give myself a right bollocking.

A slip of the finger due to my knowing a someone called Roberts-Thompson.
 
I finished Philip Kerr's Prussian Blue last night, his Bernie Gunther series just get better with each volume. Sadly only two to go.

Tonight I start this:

skin-deep-135.jpg


I'm reading the eBook, not listening to the audiobook, though.

Synopsis:
The Simeon Grist private-eye novels by 2011 Edgar and Macavity Award nominee Timothy Hallinan have become cult favorites, and here is the one that started it all.

For a fee so big he can’t turn it down, Simeon Grist is hired to watchdog the kind of guy he’d usually prefer to throw through the nearest window. Toby Vane is the golden boy of prime-time television, whose gee-whiz smile and chiseled features mask a dark secret that would take the shine off for his millions of adoring female fans: every now and then he beats up a woman, and almost any woman will do. When some of the women around Toby begin to turn up dead, Simeon has to figure out whether he’s protecting a murderer—or whether one of Toby’s multitude of enemies wants to put him away forever. And when Simeon meets the beautiful Nana, the whole situation becomes very personal, very fast.


I have read all of Timothy Hallinan's Poke Rafferty series, set in Bangkok, now to move on to something else of his.
 
Asked for books in Frogenese - Mother in law went to book store and ive Just been handed dix Petite negres.

At least its not Poirot
 

Sexton Blake

War Hero

Poppy

LE
latest Gerald Seymour- which seems much the same as all the previous ones :)
 

Poppy

LE
Does it feature 2RRF for a change?
not so far............hero was in SRR before suffering PTSD - usual stuff, maverick hero called back as he's the only one in the world knows target/operating area or whatever this story requires :) but good readable yarns and the author does proper research which I appreciate
 

exspy

LE
One Minute Out (2020) by Mark Greaney
The ninth book in The Gray Man series.

Over the last year or so I've read all of Mr. Greaney's novels about Curt Gentry, the Gray Man. The first one was great and whet my appetite for more. But, like all series some are better than others. His latest is one of the better ones. They're not mysteries, you know who the bad guys are going in, it's how Gentry defeats everyone lone wolf style (okay, maybe sometimes with some help) that's the entertaining part. Some belief suspension may be required at certain points but you'll believe these things can happen.

High school educated, CIA trained, Gentry is a rogue lone wolf assassin operating world-wide and, because he's only a myth to some, is known as the Gray Man . A killer for hire, wanted by every agency in the world, he only works for the good guys or acts for the good cause. The books are set world-wide. Novel number eight, Mission Critical, was set in the UK. I can't remember what the good cause was in number eight but, like in all the books, bad guys die, organizations are destroyed and good triumphs over evil.

Four out of 5 long-range sniper shots for number nine.

Cheers,
Dan.

 

tiger stacker

On ROPS
On ROPs
not so far............hero was in SRR before suffering PTSD - usual stuff, maverick hero called back as he's the only one in the world knows target/operating area or whatever this story requires :) but good readable yarns and the author does proper research which I appreciate
I enjoy the book that mentioned the KOSB without actually naming them ;)
 

Poppy

LE

Ritch

LE
The Sentinel, the Jack Reacher that Lee Child didn't write. I got the book before reading this review:


Ouch.

I've experienced something similar.

When Vince Flynn passed away, Kyle Mills took over writing about Mitch Rapp. I read the first book that Mills wrote but won't buy any more because he absolutely butchered the character and alienated a lot of the fans with his trashy writing style.
 

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