Sierra Leone, 2000. A civil war is in progress. Eleven Royal Irish Rangers – there to train the shambolic Sierra Leone army – and one Sierra Leonean soldier are captured by the main rebel group, the vicious West Side Boys.
Pumped up with drugs and voodoo beliefs, and packing some serious weaponry, the West Side Boys (who include plenty of girls) are a formidable fighting force. A rescue mission is mounted, a joint UK forces operation, spearheaded by the SAS.
Nothing is spared in Lewis’s exciting and well researched book, which means there’s plenty of graphic – but not gratuitous – violence. The SAS are portrayed accurately as exceptionally well trained and committed fighting men, rather than as the supermen of media hyperbole.