Mirror Books has acquired the “landmark” memoir by Sergeant Alexander Blackman, better known to many as Marine A.
Executive editor Jo Sollis acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Charlie Brotherstone at BCM Agency. Marine A: My Toughest Battle will be published in April 2019 in royal hardback and ebook formats, including a foreword by Frederick Forsyth.
Blackman was the first solder to be convicted of wartime murder since World War Two after killing a wounded Taliban fighter. The publisher said: “This is the first time Alexander has spoken in such sharp detail about his side of the story, the savage tour that lead up to his ‘moment of madness’ and the consequences of his actions. His conviction was changed to manslaughter, after he was shown to suffer from horrendous combat stress. The public raised close to £900,000 to pay for his appeal.”
Sollis said: "I truly believe that Marine A is a landmark book in terms of understanding the reality of modern combat situations. It is a powerful, honest and really engaging story of one man’s life and career, torn apart by circumstances that most of us would struggle to even imagine. It is quite literally a compulsive read.”
Blackman added: “This book chronicles my young life, my recruitment and training, my first deployments, and then my experiences in the Middle East, where I fought first in Iraq, and later completed two tours of duty in Helmand, Afghanistan – before finally confronting the final moment of my 2011 tour, and the killing of the Afghan insurgent which led to my conviction for murder. I confront this moment in a spirit of total honesty, chronicling the weeks and months of a hellish tour that led up to it, the mental frailties the tour exposed – and, without seeking to make excuses, reclaim at least some of that experience for myself. This is a searingly honest look at the brutal realities of life in the military.”