Listen to the first discussion of Outlaws Inc. on Wednesday 1 June’s edition of Up All Night, BBC Radio 5Live’s night-time show – also available on BBC iPlayer. Matt talked to Giles Dilnot about the adventures, investigative work and accidents that informed the book. Once it’s vanished from iPlayer, I’ll try to post a recording of the show here, too.
The first (great) reviews are coming in for Outlaws Inc.
Campaigning Times journalist Brian Johnson-Thomas says it’s “the ultimate proof that the truth is far stranger than fiction”, while Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent of The Daily Telegraph and author of Bomb Hunters, this year’s hit non-fiction book about UXB disposal experts in Afghanistan, calls it “An explosive read, full of heart-thumping excitement – and all the more terrifying for being true.”
Dr Mark Galeotti, Academic Chair, SCPS Center for Global Affairs at New York University and one of the world’s foremost authorities on Russia and organized crime, calls it “a great book!” and adds: “It’s all very well to know that there is a global trade in illicit goods, and a small contingent of aviators willing to fly anything anywhere, but this is the only one inside story on the post-Soviet flyboys who represent such a key element in this hidden world. In all their boozy, devil-may-care glory, Matt Potter’s unique book doesn’t just offer up a fascinating tale of cratered runways, no-questions-asked drops, midnight flits, shell companies, hidden compartments and duct-taped aircraft of these men, it also tells us something about the modern world, and how for all society’s efforts to make it regulated and respectable, there will always be those who thrive by finding ways to use, abuse and ignore the rules.”
Peter Danssaert of the UN Security Council’s Panels of Experts on Liberia, the DRC and Somalia/IPIS, calls it “A brilliantly told story”, noting of the airmen that, “these men are expendable cogs in a larger machine. The laughs and action along the way make the book’s overall sadness even more poignant.”
My heartfelt thanks to you all!