The Hunt for the Richest, Deadliest Criminal in History

Did you know that the guy on the left is actually the guy on the right in real life? His name is Viktor Bout and if you watched Lord of War, you know who he is, but if you have not, a new book is coming out this May 18. A new treat available for purchase. Namely the new bestseller from the author of Zero Six Bravo is coming out in a Kindle version.

Now let us go step by step here. If you don’t know what Zero Six Bravo is, do not read this article. Just take a step back and read this book. But, and this is for all you fast-paced people, we shall give you a little info.

Caught in a ferocious ambush by thousands of die-hard fanatics from Saddam Hussein’s Fedayeen, plus the awesome firepower of the 5th Corps’ heavy armour, and with eight of their vehicles bogged in Iraqi swamps, M Squadron launched a desperate bid to escape, inflicting massive damage on their enemies. Running low on fuel and ammunition, outnumbered, outmaneuvered and outgunned, the elite operators destroyed sensitive kit and prepared for death or capture as the Iraqis closed their deadly trap.

Now that we got that out of the way, let us move on. The new book Operation Relentless: The Hunt for the Richest, Deadliest Criminal in History is a story about the A-Team – the guys who managed get one of the world’s most wanted men, notorious Russian arms-dealer Viktor Bout. More commonly known as ‘The Merchant of Death’, Bout was “Public Enemy No. 1” to the global intelligence agencies who hunted him, worth an alleged six billion dollars.

For decades Bout had run a labyrinthine network of airlines selling weapons to fabulously wealthy dictators, bloodthirsty rebels and fearsome terror outfits. Reputedly the United Nations top global sanctions buster, he was holed up in Moscow, shielded by a Russian state complicit in his dark dealings. But like modern-day bounty hunters the A-Team claimed they could nail Bout, and where an alphabet soup of agencies – MI6, CIA, NSA and others – had failed.

To capture Bout the US DEA – the Drugs Enforcement Agency – put together a cast more extraordinary than any fiction: The Bear, a stir-crazy bush-pilot and former SAS man; Carlos, former intelligence agent and undercover known as ‘The King of Sting’; ‘El Commandante’, a former narco-trafficker and arms-dealer extraordinaire; plus Dutch and Polski, ex-US military and crack DEA operators.

Written with Lewis’s signature dramatic verve, and based upon exclusive interviews, DEA wire taps and court transcripts, this is the explosive story of the ultra-secret mission known as OPERATION RELENTLESS. It ranges from the steamy jungles of Colombia to the ice-bound streets of Moscow, and from horrific bloodshed and tyranny in Africa’s heart of darkness to a snatch mission like no other. It may read like an implausible thriller, but every word is true.

Damien Lewis has spent twenty years reporting from war, disaster and conflict zones around the world. He has written a dozen non-fiction and fiction books, topping bestseller lists worldwide, and is published in some thirty languages. Two of his books are being made into feature films.