‘Appetite For Risk’ by Jack Leavers

Appetite for Risk by [Leavers, Jack]


With Saddam Hussein deposed and an entire country in need of rebuilding, former Royal Marine John Pierce hears the siren call of adventure and opportunity. His fledgling UK business is struggling to support his young family and he has connections in the Iraqi capital – fate seems to point one way.

In early 2004, Pierce rolls the dice when he jumps into a taxi in Jordan and heads for the turmoil of postwar Baghdad to grab a share of the reconstruction gold rush. But when Iraq spirals into the hell of a full-blown insurgency, he must rely on his wits and his local friends if he’s to evade the rampant bloodshed.

As the action rolls across the blood-stained Iraqi landscape and embraces London’s seedy underbelly, Pierce tangles with the authorities at home and finds himself thrust into the heart of British and American covert operations against Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Having set out with little more than ambitious goals and an appetite for risk, can a determined ex-bootneck survive the mounting chaos unscathed and succeed in hitting the jackpot?


My Review

I am a bit of a tomboy at heart and I have a liking for military thriller type books even if they do sort of scare me a bit.  Anyway, I loved reading ‘Bravo, Two, Zero’ by Andy McNab and the synopsis for this book certainly sounded like that sort of book.  I couldn’t wait to dive in and so without further ado I started reading.  ‘Appetite For Risk’ was one heck of a read.

It took me a little while to get into this book.  That has more to do with the fact that I was tired when I began to read the book and it isn’t meant as a criticism.  I had a bit of trouble getting my mouth around some of the place names. However, once I got into the story that was it and I was away.  I found it extremely difficult to put the book to one side for long.  The book seemed to develop a hold over me and it was a hold that I didn’t want to break.  Rather than binge read the book over the course of a day, I read the book over the course of a few days, which worked for me.  I soon got to the end of the book and overall it was a story that I thoroughly enjoyed.

‘Appetite For Risk’ is well written.  For me, the fact that the story was inspired by true events made it seem that bit more authentic.  The author had a way of describing conditions as they were at the time that both fascinates me and scares me at the same time.  I am fascinated by all things military but I would be the first person to run in the opposite direction at the first sign of trouble.  I got a real sense of the dangers that men such as John faced in their chosen profession.  At one point I didn’t know if they were brave or mad to willingly put themselves in the way of danger.  The author writes in such a way that I felt as though I was part of the story myself.

Reading ‘Appetite For Risk’ was much like being on one hell of a scary and unpredictable rollercoaster ride with lots of twists and turns along the way.  Just when you thought that you could reclaim your stomach and take a breather off the action would go again.  On more than one occasion I almost had to read through my fingers because I dreaded what was waiting for me over the page.  Then I had to give myself a kick and realise that if I wanted to know how the story concluded then of course I had to keep reading.

In short and overall I did enjoy reading ‘Appetite For Risk’.  I would definitely recommend this book to other readers.  I will definitely be reading more of Jack’s work in the future.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 4* out of 5*.

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