In 2006, I started to research the world of high-end private security. At the time, I was writing for television, and here was a world which I thought would be a great precinct for a returnable drama series. I did the usual research, started to write a pilot, and quickly realised that I didn’t properly understand my characters. Rather than give up, I decided to find out who they were by enrolling on a 24-day residential close protection training course.

The course would kick-off at a former army camp in Wales. Along with a motley bunch of candidates, who included a grumpy Scottish ex-Para, a freshly de-mobbed ex-German Special Forces sniper whose only words of English were ‘Fuck the Taliban’, and a very short Canadian who, rather comically, claimed membership of La Cosa Nostra, I rolled up to begin training.

Over the next two weeks we were taught walking drills, debus and embus procedures, and saw lots of gruesome videos from Live Leak of what happens when you don’t know what to do when it comes time to earn your money. We took turns guarding our barracks from our lunatic instructors, two former members of the Royal Military Police specialist close protection unit. I had a gun put to my head by a man in a balaclava, I crashed cars on a dis-used airfield, then we moved to the Czech Republic for weapons training using 9mm pistols and sub-machine guns.

It was the most fun I’ve ever had with my clothes on.

The TV show didn’t go anywhere, so I decided to write a series of thrillers featuring Ryan Lock, a former member of the RMP close protection unit.

The first book in the series, LOCKDOWN, is available now, published by Bantam Press, priced £12.99

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