Tenth Man Down

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Ex-commando, Chris Ryan, did three extensive tours with the SAS as an "assaulter", "sniper" and "Sniper Team Leader" before becoming a bestselling thriller writer. His hands-on field experience makes a definitive mark in his writing and is personified in the character of Geordie Sharp, an everyman's Rambo.

In the fifth episode, Tenth Man Down, Sharp finds himself on his toughest assignment yet: to reclaim a lucrative African diamond mine held by Kamangan rebels and escape the evil spell of a Sin'ganga or witch doctor. To make matters worse, as Sharp and his men move in, they discover the rebels are being supported by ex-US Navy SEAL mercenaries. As they try and uncover the hidden agenda, Sharp is taken prisoner with comrade-in-arms, Whinger. In line with the Sin'ganga's predictions, Whinger is brutally slaughtered, leaving Sharp to break the conspiracy and reunite with his team alone.

Ryan's mean, lean, fast-moving prose is filled with colourful military descriptors and salute- inducing narrative: "I wanted to introduce him to Pen-y-Fen, the mountain whose silhouette is supposed to be graven on every Special Forces man's heart." And for those not familiar with military jargon and the Kamangan dialect, there's also a glossary to guide you through thorny verbiage. Akin to reading a solider's diary, the action in The Tenth Man Down is gritty, straightforward and believable. --Susan Queue

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