Frederick Forsyth, author of The Dogs of War and The Day of the Jackal

“I found this book a cracking read and recommend it to those who want to miss a night’s sleep.”

Eeben Barlow – founder/chairman of Executive Outcomes, currently chairman of STTEP

“Many Irishmen have made a mark on history but few as profound as Mike Hoare – a name that carries many tags: soldier, legend, ‘Mad Mike’, mercenary commander, saviour of nuns, Congo, yachtsman, Seychelles coup, author, and gentleman. This is the story of a man born to a life of adventure and soldiering. It is also a story of perseverance, honour, and changing lives, while living dangerously. Read it – it won’t disappoint you!”

Kingsley Holgate – adventurer

“Mike Hoare got more out of life by living dangerously but he was also a gentleman adventurer.  Like me, he fell under Africa’s spell.  A rollicking good read.”

Al J. Venter – author of Gunship Ace: The Wars of Neall Ellis, Helicopter Pilot and Mercenary as well as War Dog: Fighting Other People’s Wars.

“I have spent time with Dogs of War on three continents. In the process I have met most of the major players, but none have matched either the panache or the drive of the best freelance soldier of them all, ‘Mad Mike’ Hoare. His son Chris, charged with writing this complete biography of ‘The Legend’, has come up trumps. I found The Legend exceptionally well written. Chris has handled his father’s story with remarkable clarity and insight.”

Peta Lee, writing in Village Talk, 30 November 2018. Howick, South Africa.

“If there is just one non-fiction book you read in the next year, make sure it is ‘Mad Mike’ Hoare: The Legend. Mike’s son has meticulously captured the extraordinary life and times of Hoare Senior, now 99 and living in Durban. It’s a fascinating biography, a rollicking read that kept my bedside light burning into the wee hours and which had me absolutely riveted.”

Guy Martin, writing in defenceWeb, 27 February 2019.


Sunday Times, Johannesburg, 28 April 2019.

Mike Hoare was far from mad and, being short and well presented, was the opposite of the stereotypical macho mercenary image. The book gives a balanced and complete view of the equally famous and infamous mercenary leader, sailor and writer.