Today I’m taking part in the blog tour for Kisses From Nimbus: From SAS to MI6 – An Autobigraphy by P.J. ‘Red’ Riley. Many thanks to Rachel from Authoright for inviting me to be a part of the tour. I have an extract to share with you all in just a moment, as soon as we’ve seen what the book is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
Shot at, bombed, imprisoned and arrested for murder. His is the story the establishment doesn’t want you to read.
Captain P. J. “Red” Riley is an ex-SAS soldier who served for eighteen years as an MI6 agent.
Riley escaped internment in Chile during the Falklands war during an audacious top-secret attempt to attack the Argentinian mainland.
He was imprisoned in the darkness of the Sierra Leonean jungle, and withstood heavy fire in war-torn Beirut and Syria.
In 2015, he was arrested for murder but all charges were later dropped.
In this searing memoir, Riley reveals the brutal realities of his service, and the truth behind the newspaper headlines featuring some of the most significant events in recent British history. His account provides startling new evidence on the Iraq war, what Tony Blair really knew about Saddam Hussain’s weapons of mass destruction before the allied invasion, and questions the British government’s alleged involvement in the death of Princess Diana.
Chaotic, darkly humorous and at times heart-wrenchingly sad, Kisses From Nimbus charts the harrowing real-life experiences of a soldier and spy in the name of Queen and country.
On our way to meet the leader of the Kamajors, in war-torn Sierra Leone, we stop off at a small jungle village.
A small crowd of villagers gradually gathered around us. One of them was a young woman, who held on to Fred’s arm, looking up at him adoringly, as if he were some sort of saviour – in a way I suppose he was. She would, surely, have smiled at him, but that wasn’t possible.
Her name was Blossom and she had once been beautiful. Now she looked as though she was wearing some sort of hideous, Halloween face-mask. She was unable to speak. Her top and bottom lips were missing completely, exposing her, perfectly symmetrical, white teeth.
A few months ago, as the men of the village were away fishing and hunting, the women sat around preparing dinner, whilst the children played happily nearby.
Suddenly, deafening shots rang out, and a gang of RUF rebels, some of them as young as twelve, burst into the clearing.
Blossom, with her seven-month-old baby Yaema, strapped to her back, ran into the closest hut and dived under the bed.
Yeama was screaming and the door burst open. Blossom was dragged outside by her hair and made to witness the baying gang getting pleasure from chopping off the right hand of nine-year-old Daniel.
Their attention then turned to the beautiful, young, terrified mother. The bonds on her back were roughly cut away, and her baby was dragged from her. One young rebel held the baby aloft by a leg, and, with one swift slash of his razor-sharp panga, disembowelled the wriggling child, much to the amusement of the other young gang members.
Blossom fell to her knees – distraught. As she was held, the end of her tongue was sliced off. A wooden skewer was then driven through her top and bottom lips, and a large padlock clamped into the holes as she was, mockingly, told not to speak to anyone from the government, ever again.
Blossom was one of a dozen villagers left lying in the dirt, bleeding from appalling wounds, with a further ten lying dead.
The ensuing infection from the rusty padlock, left the pitiful young woman with a large section of her face cut away and, as she tried to explain in mime, her heart ripped from her body, over the death of her sweet baby Yaema.
As Fred translated the spoken words of the elder and the sign-language of Blossom, tears streamed down his cheeks.
‘Something has to be done to stop this madness’ he said, holding Blossom closely to his side.
Now, more than twenty years later, the memory of that gathering in the remote, jungle village overwhelms me with emotion.
You can purchase a copy of the book from the following retailers:
About the Author
Born in 1946 in Lancashire P.J ‘Red’ Riley joined the British Army at the age of eighteen. After basic training he volunteered for Pilot Training and qualified as an operational helicopter pilot going on to service in Germany, Northern Ireland, Canada, Belize and Cyprus. He was later appointed Flight Commander SAS Flight Hereford. At the age of thirty-six years old he left the Army Air Corps and transferred to the SAS. In 1989, when Riley left the army he was quickly recruited by MI6 where he served until 2015. Now retired Riley splits his time between the UK and Spain
Make sure to check out the other brilliant blogs taking part in the tour