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Explosive

Explosive

This is life at the front line, or fractionally behind it, of an explosive expert who played a pivotal role in the investigation of the most significant bombings in mainland Britain and elsewhere during the course of three turbulent decades. For 15 years, Cliff Todd was the principal forensic investigator at the UK’s Forensic Explosives Laboratory, a clandestine agency whose role is to support the police and the security services in their investigations into bombings of any kind – whether it be the IRA, ISIS, or political extremists. Now, for the first time, he lifts the lid on his specialist world, guiding us through the process by which he and his colleagues worked out how bombs were built, what made them unique, and which clues led to their creators.

Among the cases threaded through his memoir will be the device concealed in a radio cassette player that brought down Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, the IRA attacks on Warrington in Cheshire and Staples Corner and St Mary Axe in London, the Bali nightclub bombings of 2002, and the 7/7 onslaught in Central London that claimed 56 lives and injured 784 others in 2005. Cliff takes us step by step through the investigations, explaining the chemistry, the forensic work and the emotional toll on him, his family life and his staff as they sought to recreate and understand what had happened at some of the most shocking tragedies in modern peacetime history.

‘Cliff Todd devoted his life to bringing bomb makers to justice. He and his ingenious colleagues at the MoD’s Forensic Explosives Laboratory played a pivotal role in uncovering the secrets behind many of the world’s most horrifying terrorist outrages. From Lockerbie, through 7/7, to the Shoe Bomber and beyond, this elite band of unsung heroes did their duty without fanfare, and often at great personal cost. They are the technicians in white coats who stand behind the men in black, but are themselves no strangers to the killing zone. Explosive tells their fascinating and deeply moving story.’ Major Chris Hunter, QGM, bestselling author of Eight Lives Down and Extreme Risk
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Reviews

Cliff Todd devoted his life to bringing bomb makers to justice. He and his ingenious colleagues at the MoD's Forensic Explosives Laboratory played a pivotal role in uncovering the secrets behind many of the world's most horrifying terrorist outrages. From Lockerbie, through 7/7, to the Shoe Bomber and beyond, this elite band of unsung heroes did their duty without fanfare, and often at great personal cost. They are the technicians in white coats who stand behind the men in black, but are themselves no strangers to the killing zone. Explosive tells their fascinating and deeply moving story.
Major Chris Hunter, QGM, bestselling author of Eight Lives Down and Extreme Risk