Dr. Kevin Dutton and Andy McNab – What psychopaths can teach us

Originally aired on Nine To Noon, Thursday 10 July 2014

Dr. Kevin Dutton, an Oxford University psychology professor, has spent a lifetime studying psychopaths.
He first met SAS hero and author Andy McNab during a research project. What he found surprised him.
McNab is a diagnosed psychopath but he is what Dr. Dutton calls a “good psychopath”.
Unlike a “bad psychopath”, he is able to dial up or down qualities such as ruthlessness, fearlessness, conscience and empathy to get the very best out of himself – and others – in a wide range of situations. Together, they have written the book The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success, which is out now, published by Random House.

Source: Radio New Zealand National website


For Valour - Nick Stone 16

When a young trooper is shot in the head at the Regiment’s renowned Killing House, Nick Stone is perfectly qualified to investigate the mysterious circumstances more deeply. He has just returned from Moscow – still trying to come to terms with the fact that his girlfriend and baby son are safer there without him – so combines an unrivalled understanding of the Special Forces landscape with a detachment that should allow him to remain in cover.

But less than forty-eight hours later, a second death catapults him back into the firing line – into the telescopic sights of an unknown assassin bent on protecting a secret that could strike at the heart of the establishment that Stone has, in his maverick fashion, spent most of his life fighting to protect.

And now the clock is ticking, Stone hurtles from the solitude of a remote Welsh confessional to Glencoe – whose shadows still whisper of murder and betrayal – and on to Southern Spain, in an increasingly desperate quest to uncover the truth about a chain of events that began in the darkness of an Afghan hillside, and left a young man haunted by the never-ending screams of a friend the Taliban skinned alive.

Nick Stone’s most heart-stopping adventure yet will force the reader to recognise the thinness of the line that separates sacrifice from suicide, to share the nightmares that walk hand in hand with heroism – and to count the real cost of actions taken in the name of loyalty.

Book details
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Bantam Press
Release Date: 23 Oct 2014
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0593073711
ISBN-13: 978-0593073711


It’s not about Andy McNab and it’s not a recent video. But I just came across it and it’s so moving that I do still want to post it.

You see members of the 2nd and 1st Battalion Royal New  Zealand Infantry Regiment perform the ancestral war cry to show their  collective grief at the deaths of Corporal Luke Tamatea, Lance Corporal  Jacinda Baker and Private Richard Harris. They were killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2012. R.I.P.

The haka is a traditional war cry or dance  originally performed by Maori warriors before battle and is characterised by  vigorous arm movements, stamping of the feet and rhythmically shouted  accompaniment.

Today, haka form a crucial part of ceremonies  for dignitaries to create a sense of occasion.


Andy McNab interview: “Keeping my identity secret is a challenge”
The Big Issue – 4 July 2014

The SAS man-turned-author talks surfing, Margaret Thatcher, abstinence – and his love of opera

Keeping my identity secret – commercially, it’s a challenge.
I could do a lot more things – I’ve been asked to do films. But in effect I get the best of both worlds because I can bounce around without getting stopped in the street, all that weird stuff. That’s the downside of fame.

The character in my new series of books initially came from an approach from a film studio to be involved with a franchise.
He was called Tom Mullin at first because that sounded nice and hard. But the studio went, nah, that’s not British enough – we want to call him Tom Buckingham. Fortress is Tom getting involved with the right wing in the UK, in an undercover capacity.

As we’ve seen in the recent European elections, the right wing is extremely organised these days, certainly in mainland Europe.
There’s no bomber jackets any more, these guys have got Armani suits. In the UK we’ve got right-wing light, Ukip and all that. Compared with these guys, Ukip are just playing at it.

As you get older you become more politically aware.
As a 17- or 18-year-old squaddie I didn’t really care. I only became interested in the politics when Thatcher came in and she gave everyone a 24 per cent pay rise. Getting in the SAS I was more politically aware because you’re doing more strategic sort of work – taking direct orders from politicians.

My writing routines vary because I travel a lot.
If I’m at home, chances are I won’t even get dressed – I’ll just be dossing around in a dressing gown or a pair of shorts and flip-flops. Get in, get on with it immediately – I won’t even have a wash. If it’s one of them days, I can’t even be arsed to go and get anything to eat, so I’ll just have a bowl of cornflakes.

I don’t drink alcohol at all.
I drink far too much tea instead. I can drink three cups an hour easy. That comes from the military – if there’s nothing going on, there’s a brew on.

To the point of obsession, I love surfing.
It’s like an addiction – I’m sure there’s surfing anonymous out there or something. For holidays I tend to go where the surfing’s good. Hawaii, Costa Rica, loads on the South West coast in the UK. And certainly when I’m in Los Angeles. A few weeks ago me and my daughter went paragliding.

I’m an absolutely huge opera fan.
Most opera is fantastic – the storylines, the three-act drama, the way the morals are told. We’ve been to the English National, and we’ve also been to La Scala in Milan. I’m trying to get tickets for the Ring Cycle by Wagner but my wife says she’s not coming to that because it goes on for 15 hours.

Because I’m on the board of a private military company I’ve been back to Baghdad loads of times since the events of Bravo Two Zero.
I went back to Abu Ghraib, back to the interrogation centre. What’s going on right now in Iraq with ISIS, it’s interesting because we’re back to square one. It’s really crazy because some of those groups, certainly when they were in Syria, we were supporting them. It’s just history repeating itself. I don’t think we’re going to see British soldiers there because we don’t have the capability any more.

Andy McNab’s latest book Fortress is out now  

Source: The Big Issue