Praise for Jihadi John: An exemplary account . . . The book's most important contribution is to highlight the difficulties faced by the intelligence services . . . a first-class primer on Muslim extremism in Britain.
Praise for Jihadi John: Verkaik gives a fascinating if frightening picture of the jihadists in our midst.
Praise for Jihadi John: An outstanding pulling together of the fractured career of one of the most notorious terrorist psychopathic killers of this or any other age. The book is exceptional because its author makes no false claims for what he doesn't know and never confuses explanation with explaining away . . . [an] excellent and thought-provoking book.
Praise for Jihadi John: A riveting and compelling portrait of Mohammed Emwazi on his journey to the heart of darkness.
In Defiant, Robert Verkaik has achieved the impossible - resurrecting the reputation of one of World War Two's worst remembered fighter planes. Unwanted, unloved and rushed into service, the Defiant nevertheless turns out to have achieved far more success in combat than has been previously acknowledged. This is mainly down to the brilliance of the officers who commanded the two operational squadrons and whose record Verkaik rightly praises. This book firmly establishes the aircraft's role in those crucial aerial battles of 1940 and elevates the brave aircrews who fought and died in their forgotten Defiants, to rank alongside their comrades in the better remembered Hurricanes and Spitfires.
Meticulously researched and rich in human and social as well as military interest, Defiant fills a crucial gap in our understanding of that most perilous time.
From the corridors of the Air Ministry to the skies over Dunkirk, Robert Verkaik tells the story of the Battle of Britain's unlikeliest hero with verve and phenomenal grasp of detail. He brings the Defiant fighter back into focus as an important part of the victorious RAF in the hour of its greatest trial.
Verkaik is an excellent guide, making his case with a restrained passion, taking us through the inter-war rearmament before cataloguing the muddled thinking, the political infighting, the inter-service and personality rivalries. His research was clearly a labour of love, leaving no Whitehall paper or airman's letter unturned in his search for the truth, and he never forgets the human dimension behind the losses.
Defiant is both a stirring testament to the courage of the men who flew them and a welcome new examination of one of the Second World War's most famous conflicts.