Get 2 top 10 audiobooks free with a LoveReading exclusive

LoveReading has teamed up with Audiobooks.com to give you the chance to get 2 free audiobooks when you sign up. Try it for 30 days for free with no strings attached. You can cancel anytime, although we're sure you'll love it. Click the button to find out more:

Find out more

Once A Pilgrim

by James Deegan

Part of the John Carr Series

Action / Adventure / Spy / Espionage Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Debut Books of the Month eBooks of the Month Star Books Thriller and Suspense

LoveReading View on Once A Pilgrim

February 2018 Debut of the Month.

Simply superb, this is a dark, gritty and stormingly fast read with real attitude. Formerly of the SAS, John Carr is now working in private security for a Russian, however the past is stalking him, ready to take his legs, and his life. If I tell you that the author James Deegan spent 17 years in the SAS and was described by his commanding officer as one of the most operationally experienced SAS men of his era, it should tell you all you need to know about the validity of his voice. The book begins with the CV of John Carr, it really sets the tone, gives you an understanding of his background, allowing the story to explode from the get-go. James Deegan delivers short punchy sentences, simply told, yet the words took hold of me, dumped me in the middle of the action, made my breath stop and my heart race. Once A Pilgrim bristles with energy and authenticity, it is an addictive, absolute whammy of read and I loved it - highly recommended.

Liz Robinson

Once A Pilgrim Synopsis

John Carr has recently left the SAS, after a long and distinguished career, and is now working for a Russian oligarch in the murky world of private security. But an incident from his past - in which three terrorists were brutally killed - suddenly comes back to haunt him. Tracked by a hitman out for revenge, John Carr is forced to step over the line to defend himself and his family. It's a cruel and violent world - and one he thought he'd left behind. But some wars never end.

Patriot Games meets Taken: In Once A Pilgrim, John Carr shows all the Reacher-esque hallmarks of a cold-blooded antihero doing what needs to be done, whatever the consequences. James Deegan MC is a fantastic new voice in the thriller genre, writing with unprecedented authority and authenticity.

Once A Pilgrim Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

As admirable as the debut author’s description of inhospitable Belfast is, both past and present, Gerald Seymour’s debut novel Harry’s Game remains unrivalled in terms of nerve-shredding suspense in Belfast’s back streets. Full review

Lee Ruddin

A book I didn't want to put down. Many more to come I hope. Full review

Carole Tuckett

A gripping and enthralling page turner. You must read this book! Full review

Susan Wallace

It’s written in short chapters, punchy sentences and authentic dialogue; if you enjoy Lee Childs, Stephen Leather, Chris Ryan, you’ll enjoy James Deegan. Full review

Lindsey Whittle

Within a few pages ‘Once a Pilgrim’ has you hooked. The drama, the detail and the way that Deegan uses his military experience to describe the story is amazing. This is a must read for 2018. Full review

Ian Watkin

Written by an ex SAS officer, this was one of the most exciting thrillers I've read this year. If you love Jack Reacher, you will love John Carr. Waiting with bated breath for the next "Carr" novel. Full review

Angie Rhodes

Simply brilliant. Full review

Victoria Emerson

Quite the most remarkable thriller reflecting what happens to an ex-SAS officer when his past catch up with him his present. Superb. Full review

Phylippa Smithson

A three-dimensional, engaging read, and a fascinating perspective on the Northern Ireland conflict to boot. More please. Full review

Sabine Little

A story that will keep you gripped to the end. Full review

Cathy Small

Once A Pilgrim Press Reviews

`As close as it gets to the real thing' Mark Billy Billingham MBE, Former SAS Warrant Officer and star of TV's SAS Who Dares Wins

`James Deegan write with masterful authority and unsurpassed experience as he transports the reader deep into the troubles of Northern Ireland - and then brings them back up to date with a dramatic bang. Uncertain times require certain people, and ex-SAS operator John Carr fits that bill. A tough, enigmatic man from the shadows, he is brought to life in this fast-paced, easy-reading thriller, and is bound to end up on screen. The character detail is credible but not clinical, and Once a Pilgrim will undoubtedly introduce James Deegan and John Carr as forces to be reckoned with.  'Chantelle Taylor, Combat Medic and author of Battleworn

`authentic detail and heart stopping narrative grips you from the outset bringing the shadowy world of today's special forces bursting in to life in a way that other authors of the genre couldn't hope for....the best thriller I've read in years'  Major Chris Hunter QGM - Author of Eight Lives Down and Extreme Risk

'exposes the raw with the reality. This is a gripping high intensity drama'Bob Shepherd, ex SAS Warrant Officer and bestselling author

'Move over Andy McNab and Chris Ryan, there's a new SAS veteran writing thrillers and he's good. Very good.'  Stephen Leather

'An impressive debut, that rates up there with Gerald Seymour and Fredrick Forsyth; blending a realistic vernacular of special forces soldiering to make a cracking read with page turning pace from start to finish.'   Stuart Tootal

`We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready to visit violence in the night on those who would do us (and Carr) harm: John Carr is the morally ambiguous anti-hero for today.'  General Chip Chapman

If you loved this, you might like these...

The Angel's Mark
Codename Villanelle
The Break Line
The Only Problem

All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780008229474
Publication date: 25/01/2018
Publisher: HQ an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780008229474
Publication date: 25th January 2018
Author: James Deegan
Publisher: HQ an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 512 pages
Genres: Action Adventure / Spy, Reader Reviewed Books, Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Star Books, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories: Espionage & spy thriller, Thriller / suspense,

About James Deegan

JAMES DEEGAN MC spent five years in the Parachute Regiment, and seventeen years in the SAS. He served for most of that time in a Sabre Squadron, from Trooper to Squadron Sergeant Major, and saw almost continuous service on operations in Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. He fought in both Gulf Wars, and was on both occasions amongst the first Coalition soldiers to cross the border into Iraq. Twice decorated for gallantry, he retired as an SAS Regimental Sergeant Major and was described by his commanding officer as `one of the most operationally-experienced SAS men of ...

More About James Deegan

Share this book