I first saw this book 'being advertised' when browsing the BBC Website. The author spoke about in during an interview with Victoria Derbyshire. The link to the article (and video of the interview) can be found here.
This guy’s (alias) name is Tom Marcus, and he used to work for the MI5 as an officer. His job was to be part of a team that would track down terrorists, rouge foreign diplomats and many more horrible characters all to help keep our country safe.
He was good (if not incredible) at his job. This meant he would find ‘evil’ in places where there was no evil. He developed PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) so much so, he had to be medically retired from his job.
He spoke in the interview about how he struggles to get another (decent) job - and has to resort to getting ‘call centre' like jobs - seeing that his job as an MI5 operator was so highly classified, he can’t really explain his 10+ year gap on his CV.
What really made me feel bad was that at the time of his story, he was struggling financially. Whilst I was sad for him, I was angry at the same time. He could do overtime yes, but his overtime involved, risking his life, tracking terrorists - and he got paid a pittance, especially compared with the footballers who get paid tonnes of money for doing half the work that he did. There was one quote in the book where he had a moment of realisation that his family would be better off if he was killed, that if he was working overtime instead. I don't know about you, but I don't think anyone should be put into that position.
The book is only 16 chapters long - so not a long read but the book is intense. The book could easily have been made into a novel - but what is important to point out is that this isn’t a make believe story - its real and happening all around us with us, the public, being none the wiser.
Some of his stories include :
Being covered in his own piss, scouting outside a mosque. By realising that more women exited the mosque than those that entered the mosque, his team stopped a terror cell blowing up a bus full of children and they waiting parents.
Saving a plain clothed policeman’s life, by glassing him and urinating on him in order to protect him from the IRA scum who were about to stab him to death.
Nearly fighting a bunch of chavs whilst working undercover in a park.
Following a woman hired by the Russians, who was hired to seduce an engineer who was working on military grade lasers. By preventing the Russians gaining this information, they kept the Russians thirty years behind us in term of military equipment.
Having their own intelligence tactics used against them resulting in him nearly being killed
Going to the supermarket with his family, noticing something dodgy, tracking the man and almost killing him only to find out he was stealing a TV from the supermarket in order to return it and get money.
And many more... (including his training regime)
This book was an awesome read and in case anyone who reads this (or the book) gets a little scared about the world we live in, there are two quotes that Tom Marcus wrote at the end of his book really stood out to me.
"Watching the news, you could be fooled into thinking the world is descending into chaos. Radicals using religion to create genocide. Mass murderers using the name of God to kill innocent people. Countries flexing their military might in each other’s airspace. Let me set that straight: you are safe. Go about your lives loving those close to you, be aware of your surroundings, but don’t live in fear."
Oh, and this one… (for obvious reasons)
"This is a word of warning to those who wish to hurt us: our nation is strong and united; that strength has been built on thousands of years of hardship, and if you even think about trying to hurt us, my friends will find you, and fucking destroy you."
Thank you so much for reading this :) x