The true story of the most infamous coup attempt in history

In a fly-blown bar in West Africa, war reporter James Brabazon found himself discussing military plans to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea with one of Africa’s most notorious mercenaries - his friend Nick du Toit.

The Byzantine plot, its farcical execution and its tragic consequences led to Mark Thatcher, Simon Mann and a host of celebrated guns-for-hire falling victim to their own avaricious plans, Machiavellian scheming and perverse double-crosses.

In a twist of fate, James Brabazon remained free. His mercenary friend wasn’t as lucky. Nick du Toit was supposed to serve thirty-four years in Black Beach Prison, Africa's most notorious jail - a sentence which James could have been serving alongside him.

The unlikely friendship began two years earlier on the bloody battlefields of the Liberian civil war. With Nick as his bodyguard, James was the only journalist to film behind rebel lines. Establishing him as a brave and talented filmmaker, the war tested James's physical and moral boundaries to the limit - and opened a door onto a dangerous world of mercenaries, spies and violent regime change.

MY FRIEND THE MERCENARY recounts James's courageous journey into the Liberian war, and tells the inside story of the most infamous coup attempt in recent history. Through this gripping narrative, James Brabazon explodes the myth of the modern mercenary, and paints a moving portrait of an extraordinary friendship. It is a brutally honest book about what it takes to be a journalist, survivor and friend in the morally corrosive crucible of war.

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"Outstanding... I couldn’t put this
book down."

"A classic story of intrigue, greed and violence... which I couldn’t read
fast enough."

"A beautifully written adrenaline rush by one of our generation’s bravest journalists."

"Unsparing prose, a visceral shock ride
into horror."

"Reads like a political thriller. Brabazon’s searing narrative captures both the allure of war… and its brutal realities."