You often read that if you haven't been there, haven't done it, you can't write about it convincingly enough. I don't agree, but feel highly flattered that those who have read More Deaths Than One sometimes wonder ...

In answer to one most frequently asked question, No, I was never a member of the UK's or anyone else's Special Forces. On the other hand I read with more than usual focus James D Ladd's "SBS - The Invisible Raiders," sub-titled "The history of the Special Boat Squadron from World War Two to the present.'

In answer to another most frequently asked question, no, I was never in a Saudi Jail (thank you very much) though I did spend a little time in Saudi police stations on two occasions; the first to answer charges of jumping a red traffic light; the second in order to settle an industrial dispute with my sponsor in The Kingdom. My sponsor extricated me on the first occasion using a little gentle persuasion, common sense and a sensible Saudi 'magistrate' saved my bacon on the second.

But for the inside gen on life in a Saudi prison I owe much to Winchester library and Escape From Al-Ould by Ian Fraser, 1983, Published Frederick Muller, London, ISBN0584110634.

Faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love: intelligence, knowledge and imagination, and the greatest of these is imagination (for a writer of fiction).

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