Nick Stone (character)
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Nick Stone is the main fictional character in a series of books written by Andy McNab, who is an ex-member of British Army regiment the SAS. Andy McNab has written about Nick Stone in eighteen different books. Nick has undertaken many missions including kidnapping a powerful Russian Mafia lord and killing a money-laundering Algerian business man.
Nick Stone left the SAS in 1988, soon after the shooting of three IRA volunteers in Gibraltar. Once working for British Intelligence as a 'K' on deniable operations, he also briefly worked for an American agency. Now he roams the world as somewhat of a mercenary just trying to keep his head above water. Early novels are accounts of assassination and intrigue filled with tradecraft and detail. Later novels, while still detailed, deal with more social topics such as White slavery/prostitution, government corruption, war profiteering, Human rights and torture with Nick never having answers to these complicated topics, but normally just bearing witness.
Nick Stone's story is depicted as a traumatic one. He grew up in England with parents who he feels did not care about him. They hardly ever spent family time together, and they never did anything to make his childhood happy. His father is also suggested to have been a very violent man, and certain passages hint that Nick was a victim of child abuse at his hand (one passage says that his father locked him in the garden shed on a stormy night and left him there, in the dark and on his own, until the morning). Another says that his stepfather used to beat him, just because he liked to do it. His mother did nothing to stop this abuse, Stone stating that all she did was let it happen, then give him a Mars Bar afterwards. Nick treated his home as a waiting room until he could leave and, when he finally did, he signed up to the Army, eventually being recruited into the SAS. The characters' name and early years were allegedly based on those of a teenage acquaintance of McNab last known working a postman in Dartford.
In Remote Control he is asked if he is still married to which he replies 'no I divorced her', she is also mentioned in subsequent novels as a gauge on women's effect on him, such as references in Crisis Four where his newfound love for fellow operative Sarah is listed on his file at MI6 for the reason he divorced his wife.
After the murder of a fellow SAS soldier and his family, Nick becomes the sole guardian of their seven-year-old daughter Kelly, and the two went on the run from unidentified pursuers, unaware of who was the real target. In Dark Winter, Stone unearths a doomsday threat against the populations of New York, London and Berlin and finds himself facing an unspeakable trade-off; the life of someone he loves, against those of millions he doesn't even know.
In 1987, Stone was involved with a mission in Gibraltar to prevent three PIRA members from detonating a bomb there. This mission involving Stone is a reenactment of the actual event, Operation Flavius. This ended with the shooting in public of all three PIRA officials. This event drove Nick to retire from the SAS at some point between then and 1995. He says in Aggressor that his last job with the Regiment was supervising and being actively involved in the infamous Waco siege in 1993, he also refers to carrying out operations in the Gulf War in some of his books, mirroring Andy McNab's own SAS career. It seems he was being used for unofficial jobs by British Intelligence as early as 1995, as the character Sarah in Crisis Four encouraged him to approach them
He has had many chapters in his life and led a path that has taken him all over the world (including The Congo, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Southern France, Ireland, Ulster, Switzerland, Malaysia, Georgia, Great Britain, the United States, Syria, Algeria, Libya, Italy, Dubai, Russia, Gibraltar, Finland, Moldova and Denmark), mostly under order of "The Firm" but others out of pure bad luck or personal quests for revenge or escapism.
The character Nick Stone appears in the following books:
- Remote Control (17 February 1998)
- Crisis Four (22 August 2000)
- Firewall (5 October 2000)
- Last Light (1 October 2001)
- Liberation Day (1 October 2002)
- Dark Winter (3 November 2003)
- Deep Black (1 November 2004)
- Aggressor (1 November 2005)
- Recoil (6 November 2006)
- Crossfire (12 November 2007)
- Brute Force (3 November 2008)
- Exit Wound (5 November 2009)
- Zero Hour (28 October 2010)
- Dead Centre (15 September 2011)
- Silencer (24 October 2013)
- For Valour (23 October 2014)
- Detonator (22 October 2015)
- Cold Blood (20 October 2016)
In production: Echelon - based on the novel Firewall