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The Shooting Gallery
The Shooting Gallery:
Gollancz, 1997


Gaz Hunter (not his real name) was an elite member of an elite regiment - the SAS. He travelled the earth on covert operations ranging from hostage rescue in Sierra Leone to fighting a secret – and totally deniable – ‘black ops’ war against the Russians in Afghanistan. This first-hand account of how the Taliban were armed and trained in a top secret US-British mission grabs the reader by the belt-buckle and refuses to let go. Hunter was the knight and the Taliban the pawns in the West’s crazy ‘Great Game’.

Review - courtesy of Amazon.co.uk ‘This is genuinely the best account of life in the SAS that I have read. Far too many books focus on aspects of life that are of little or no interest to the reader. Far more turbulent things have happened in Gaz Hunter's personal life than have happened to most of the other ex Regiment writers, yet Hunter chooses not to dwell on them. His matter of fact accounts of life in the SAS are absolutely gripping and his modesty shines throughout the book. It opens your eyes to the mad world of politics and war.’

Excerpts: ‘I looked across at Dave. ‘We don’t need a doctor, do we?’He shook his head slowly. Another friend who had run out of lives. Another name on the Hereford clock tower.

‘Together we gently turned Geordie over. His features had been squashed flat onto his face; it was as if the nose, eyes and mouth had been drawn onto his skin, making him look two-dimensional, not a real person any more.’

***

‘We never heard the gunships coming. They had used the landscape expertly, keeping low on the attack run, then climbing straight up the edge of the plateau to our right, using the rock face to deflect their noise. They had succeeded brilliantly. We were done for. ‘As the first Hind reared up above the cliff edge, the sound crashed over me. Whop, Whop, Whop, Whop. I stood up, not wanting to believe what my ears and eyes were telling me. Then a second gunship loomed up behind the first. ‘Run!’ my brain was yelling at me. I ran. With a cold roar, the first wave of rockets came down. I felt the hot blast of the explosions on my back. I ran as if the wind had picked me up, ran without thinking; survive, that’s all. Live.’

The Shooting Gallery


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