By Harry McCallion
A review from amazon.com
I had the opportunity to read this book atleast six years ago and i can honestly say in comparison to other autobiographies i have read, this book sticks in the mind like no other. To join the author from his early years in glasgow and jouney with him through an incredible life is really enjoyable.
When he recounts his times in the various groups he has been attached to, you get a feeling of being there with the tension, pain, effort and the humour of the situations he has found himself in.
This story puts all the other "SAS" and "Special Forces" books in the shade. It is not like, "Bravo Two Zero" and all the other books like that, this book stands out for the way one man can go from the Parachute Regiment to the RUC, not forgetting the SAS and the south african recce, in 22 years.
Harry McCallion is an extraordinary man. He has a unique humour and uses it frequently to show that he has feelings like the rest of us, this is what makes you warm to him as a person and keeps you hooked on the book.
There are the usual weapons, missions, tactics and operations you'd expect to read, but that's not all the book is about. It is a story of one mans growth from boy to man in exremely unusual circumstances.
If books on "Special forces" or autobioghraphies are your favourite type of read, then this book will captivate you and keep you enthralled to the end.
Review on amazon.com
Killing zone is the story of Harry McCallion. Born the son of a gangster, and given no advantages whatsoever, he writes about his experiences and heartaches, and how he overcame them. Sometimes funny, sometimes frightening, but always exciting and entertaining.Any person who has read other geniune memoirs of ex-special forces personel, will recognise a sense of humour that appears to be common to all such people. The book is brutal in it's self analysis of the author, and it is difficult to finish the book without feeling in awe of such an amazing man. This book is well worth reading.
Review from Ian Millard
This is the story of a man who, brought up in deprived circumstances of poverty and rootlessness, overcame those disadvantages to become a soldier (Parachute Regiment), then a member of the Recce Commando (South African special forces), then a Special Air Force soldier back in the UK, moving on to become a policeman with the Royal Ulster Constabulary. A final career move sees him as London Barrister specializing in criminal work. The book (at least, the hardback one I bought a few years ago) ends as he achieves that last target. This is a later paperback version.
The author pulls few punches. His background ensured more than toughness: he admits people, even policemen, have crossed the road to avoid meeting with him! His time in the Paras, suffering some brutality and service in Ulster, led him to try a new life in South Africa, being allowed to try out for the Recce Commando and, after severe testing, to succeed. Thereupon he goes upon dangerous missions across nearby borders, including a joint South African-Rhodesian mission by inflatable boat to the heart of Maputo/Lourenco Marques in Mozambique.
His time with the SAS and then the RUC ended with a car crash which virtually killed him (SF operators don't use seatbelts or airbags because these safety devices impede them and/or immobilize the vehicle in a crash situation). Another problem was that his personal weapon and address book were stolen after the crash, leading to a security problem for others in Hereford and elsewhere. When he recovers, he is left with ongoing pain, but fights on to the Bar.
This is a book which, unlike many memoirs of SAS personnel, is not depressing but very uplifting: this man has not only overcome all sorts of problems and disadvantages, but has kept and even expanded his sense of compassion in doing so: that much is clear from the RUC and Bar parts of the account. Good luck to him in his future career.