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Eight Lives Down

Tony B

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Author Chris Hunter

Publisher: Bantam press 2007


ISBN: 9780593058602


We all know the old joke, what steps do you take if you find a bomb? Long fast and away, so imagine taking long slow and towards, especially with the added knowledge that the device has been planned built and placed specifically to kill you.


This became part of every day life for Chris Hunter, along with snipers, mortar attacks and indiscriminate road side bombs and attacks by Mahdi army.


The place is Basra in Southern Iraq, 2004. Hunter had been posted as team leader to an EOD team. In his position as an ATO (Ammunition Technical Officer) he and his team became such a thorn in the side of the local Mahdi that they decide to wage a personal war on him. Part of his work was to disrupt devices or if they had exploded collect remains for forensic examination.


The book covers the 101 days of his deployment; with more action than most men would see in a lifetime. The story is gripping in its own right but the book works on several levels. There is the authors’ own feelings and how he coped with them, small unit dynamics and a fascinating glimpse of the intelligence and forensic that goes on in the background. Also the stress and courage required of the families left behind. The colour photographs used for illustration are excellent and include one of the Duro EOD vehicles.


Unusually for this type of book included above every chapter heading is a quote. In this case it works, every quote keeps the reader reminded that Hunter’s prime reason for being there was to save life, immaterial of whose. With Christmas coming up, if anyone has a gap on the present list, this book will be a fine stocking filler.


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