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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best book magazine in the UK“, John Wick (with K Ratzeburg) shares his life, from his military career, to being ‘outed’ as the middleman between the whistle-blower and the British press in the 2009 Parliamentary Expenses Scandal.
Still Alive (Surprisingly)
Ex-military parachute Regiment, 22 SAS veteran, and security supremo, John Wick, has released a memoir was penned by John Wick and K Ratzeburg. Full of tales of travelling the world and getting caught up in more than his fair share of danger, Still Alive (Surprisingly), explores Wick’s irrepressible courage, ability to extricate himself from the stickiest of situations, and an unwavering commitment to his country.
Have you ever thought about how to negotiate a ransom? If you happened to be in a room full of drug lords from Columbia, would you know what to do? How would you feel if your parachute was only partially inflated and you were hurtling toward the ground? Would you panic if the Speaker of the House of Commons threatened to imprison you? These are just a few of John’s quandaries throughout his 60 years of adventures, both in the Army and in civilian life, which occasionally brought him dangerously close to meeting the Grim Reaper.
This book acquaints readers with the author’s life of family, friendship, travel and, above all, his enduring resilience in the face of adversity. It comes to an end in 2009 with the MPs’ Expenses Scandal, which rocked the country and ended the careers of many MPs. Who can fail to remember the disclosures of bad behavior that filled the pages of The Daily Telegraph that Spring? Without John Wick’s boldness and assurance to make the best choice, at a gamble to his own wellbeing, reality could have stayed hidden away from public examination forever.
Written with an eloquence and understatement, this gem of a book evokes in all of us (even the most danger-averse) a desire to get out there, ‘shake things up a bit’ and live life to the full. But, as this septuagenarian still has multitude of stories to impart, fingers crossed what Mr Wick did next is still to come!
Since John Wick’s father, grandfather, and uncle were all soldiers, it may come as no surprise that when he dropped out of school in the late 1960s, he chose the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst over college. John was first commissioned into the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, but his adventurous spirit was too strong for that, so he was commissioned into the Parachute Regiment and passed selection for 22 SAS. During the Troubles, he was a member of both regiments and served in Northern Ireland. However, he had a serious accident while parachuting, which forced him to seriously reevaluate his life plans.
He became a civilian in the early 1980s after serving with the Sultan’s Special Forces for a brief time in Oman. After that, his work as the risk consultant of choice for a number of specialist underwriters and brokers at Lloyd’s of London not only made the UK security industry the best in the world at the time, but it also put him in a lot of dangerous situations, some of which the book explores.
When he was identified as the intermediary between the British press and the “Source” during the Parliamentary Expenses Scandal in 2009, he unintentionally found himself at the center of a media storm. Despite the fact that this is where the book comes to an end, John’s life and adventures have continued into his seventh decade and will probably be documented in a subsequent work.
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Published by Cranthorpe Millner Publishers, Still Alive (Surprisingly) (ISBN: 978-1-80378-128-0) is published on 27th June 2023 and is available in paperback and Kindle format.
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