Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Hardback)

The mission to rescue the hostages the world forgot

Colin Freeman

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‘A thoroughly good read’, Michael Portillo, author of Portillo’s Hidden History of Britain and presenter of Great British Railway Journeys

‘A MUST READ book … 5 stars, highly recommended!’ Jordan Wylie, adventurer and author of Citadel: The true story of one man’s war against the pirates of Somalia

‘Raw, gripping and profoundly moving’, Andrew Harding, BBC’s Africa correspondent and author of These are Not Gentle People

The true story of a retired British army officer’s private Somali-hostage rescue mission

During the peak of the Somali piracy crisis, three ships – from Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan – were hijacked and then abandoned to their fate by their employers, who lacked the money to pay ransoms. All would still be there, were it not for Colonel John Steed, a retired British military attaché, who launched his own private mission to free them. 

At 65, Colonel Steed was hardly an ideal saviour. With no experience in hostage negotiations and no money behind him, he had to raise the ransom cash from scratch, running the operation from his spare room and ferrying million-dollar ransom payments around in the boot of his car. 

Drawing on first-hand interviews, former chief foreign correspondent of The Sunday Telegraph, Colin Freeman, who has himself spent time held hostage by Somali pirates, takes readers on an inside track into the world of hostage negotiation and one man’s heroic rescue mission.



Colin Freeman is an author and journalist specialising in foreign affairs. He was chief foreign correspondent of The Sunday Telegraph from 2006-2016, covering mainly the Middle East and Africa. Today he contributes to a variety of publications including The Telegraph magazine, the Spectator and From Our Own Correspondent on BBC Radio 4. He lives with his family in London.


‘A raw, gripping and profoundly moving book. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea tells the extraordinary story of Somalia’s forgotten hostages, the pirates who tortured them for years, and the quietly heroic Britons who refused to give up on them.’

Andrew Harding, author of These Are Not Gentle People and The Mayor of Mogadishu

‘A thoroughly good read.’

Michael Portillo, author of Portillo’s Hidden History of Britain and presenter of Great British Railway Journeys

‘John Steed has led an exemplary retirement as a uniquely skilled volunteer, helping to free the seafarer hostages of Somali pirates who some governments wanted to forget. Colin Freeman’s book about him is both wonderful and long overdue.’

Michael Scott Moore, author of The Desert and the Sea

‘A MUST READ book … 5 stars, highly recommended!’

Jordan Wylie, adventurer and author of Citadel: The true story of one man’s war against the pirates of Somalia.

ABOUT THIS BOOK

about this book

ISBN: 9781785787027

Price: 16.99 GBP 16.99 GBP

Pages: 320

Publication date: 11/03/2021

Category: History

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