On 7 March 2004, former SAS soldier and mercenary Simon Mann prepared to take off from Harare International Airport with an aeroplane full of heavy weaponry and guns for hire. Their destination: the former Spanish colony of Equatorial Guinea. Their mission: to remove one of the most brutal dictators in Africa in a privately organised coup d'état. The plot had the tacit approval of Western intelligence agencies and, according to Mann, the backing of a European government and the endorsement of a former British Prime Minister. Simon Mann had personally planned, overseen and won two wars in Angola and Sierra Leone. Everything should have gone right. Why, then, did it go so wrong? When Simon was released from five years' incarceration in two of Africa's toughest prisons, he made worldwide headlines. Since then, he has spoken to nobody about his experiences. Now, he is telling everything, including: • His belief that the CIA deliberately compromised the coup to court favour with Equatorial Guinea's President Obiang, in return for access to the country's vast oil resources. • How the British government approached Simon in the months preceding the Iraq war, asking him to suggest ways in which a justified invasion of Iraq could be engineered. • The financial involvement of a controversial and internationally famous member of the British House of Lords in the plot, backed up by banking records. • Simon will also tell of his pain when he had to tell his wife, Amanda, who gave birth to their fourth child while he was incarcerated, that he believed he would never be freed. This is Simon's remarkable first-hand account of his life: an account that will read like a thriller as it takes us into the world of mercenaries and spooks; of murky international politics, big oil and big bucks; of action, danger, love, despair and betrayal.