I met Anthony Bryan in the lobby of a hotel in central Hong Kong. I knew that he did not usually give interviews, and indeed when I met him he looked far from comfortable. Once we had been served our coffee he relaxed a little, although he gave the impression of man who is constantly vigilant. Whether that was the result as the years he spent in the UK’s Secret Service or as a consequence and what he does now (he runs his own Global Detective agency) I could not tell. I started by asking him about the legacy of the years he has spent working at the cutting-edge of national security in the UK. He immediately became guarded, and I could tell that he was a man for whom integrity was more than just a word. I knew from reading about him that he had suffered injuries as a result of torture when he was captured in Saudi Arabia. I soon realised he was not the sort of man to make a big deal it his ailments; in fact he played them down. However I could tell by some of his movements that an old injury to his back was still very much with him.
When I asked him about his books, he became more animated. It was clear that the passion that runs through the three books he has written make him a natural storyteller. I attempted to delve deeper into some of the more notorious or contentious events he had written about, but was expertly deflected. There were often however, flashes of the humour that make his books such a good read. I asked him how much of it was a true telling and how much was an embellishment. He smiled and told to me that it was up to me to decide. I’ve often thought about his books (I’ve read the two that have been published several times) and wondered how much had been included for dramatic effect. In the interests of my sanity, I would probably wish that a great deal of what I read was embellished, but as I looked into the eyes of their author, I was suddenly not so sure!
I have been moved to tears by Anthony Bryans writing and horrified as well. This is not a book for those looking for a gentle romp. This is hard-hitting and gritty, raw and utterly captivating. Bryan left me in no doubt as to when our time was up. He bid me farewell and melted away in into the crowds on the streets of Hong Kong leaving me to feel that I had just had the privilege of meeting someone who was far more than just an author. I’m going to go back and read his books again as well as the third book The Kill that he tells me will be published soon. Having had the unique opportunity to meet the man behind these unique and riveting stories, I will read them with new insight, no doubt time and time again!