Magazine article Geographical

Blood Ransom: Stories from the Front Line in the War against Somali Piracy

Magazine article Geographical

Blood Ransom: Stories from the Front Line in the War against Somali Piracy

Article excerpt

BLOOD RANSOM: Stories from the Front Line in the War Against Somali Piracy

by John Boyle; Adlard Coles; 16.99 [pounds sterling] (hardback)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

'These are nothing like the swashbucklers from Pirates of the Caribbean.' That's what people used to say about Somali pirates. We were to understand that piracy had slowly built up an undeserved romantic reputation. Somalia's pirates returned us to the terrible, long-forgotten reality.

Finding a pirate is Boyle's first problem in Blood Ransom. Somali pirates are already yesterday's news, and this book might just turn out to be the first 'history' of piracy's silver age.

Nonetheless, Boyle finds a few men willing to open up, and learns that a pirate's lot is not a happy one. Amid the Indian Ocean in tiny, rotten boats, they drift without even a compass. It seems fairly likely that there are more would-be pirates at the ocean's bottom than ever even saw a ship--or a jail. …

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