Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life

Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life: A Former CIA Officer Reveals Safety and Survival Techniques to Keep You and Your Family Protected by Jason Hanson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have given this book only 3 stars, and while I intended to blame a lot of it on the type of book this is, it’s only fair that I blame my expectations too, here’s what I mean.

This book contains information, habits and tactics that the author uses to keep himself and his family safe. Speaking within an American context, some of these things may seem very strange to outsiders, such as his recommendation to carry a gun at all times (where legal), or a knife too (where also legal).

The information regarding good habits to keep in general are very useful. He teaches the example of being situationally alert and aware at all times, being able to move when danger first appears and not freezing. This information itself makes the most useful parts of the book in my opinion. They come up early in the book so much of the context after that mostly fades in comparison.

A book detailing physical manoeuvres is already a very hard thing to do, but when you have chapters dedicated to where to strike an opponent who may have you in a certain hold, or how to manoeuvre a car in a dangerous situation, you can’t help but wonder why there are no diagrams at the very least. We are constantly directed to the Author’s website to view videos of such practises, but in my experience it’s very rare for a reader to break free from the trance of reading to do something like that.

All in all, while the book contains some beneficial tips, it feels like a real life course badly adapted to become a book. While there are some benefits to be gained, much of these things have to be taught properly, in a face to face environment.

Kudos to the Author for the tips, but sadly the codifying of his tactics into a word only format leaves much to be desired. Still useful for the handful of genuinely useful tips he provides though, and they may be priceless one day.

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