I haven’t read Carter’s first book (Don’t tell mum I work on the rigs, she’s thinks I’m a piano player in a whorehouse – a title which always makes me wonder if he does actually know how to play piano), but that didn’t make my enjoyment of this sequel any less. Carter explodes into the book, immediately diving into the life or death situation that gives the book it’s name. From then until the very end the book is a whirlwind ride of dangerous and comical situations, crazy characters, giant crabs and excessive amounts of alcohol, love and heartbreak.
Carter flies around the word, from Russia to Japan to Afghanistan and back to Australia to see his long suffering girlfriend (now wife) Clare. He reconnects with his Dad and a few of his Dad’s war buddies over single malt scotch, barbecues toes during a storm, discovers the best way to sneak a ciggie on a non-smoking rig and nearly gets blown up researching mercenaries in the Middle East.
Carter’s writing is pretty damn eloquent, given that he’s been a self-professed rigrat for most of his adult life. Sure, there’s some very colourful phrases throughout, but on the whole, the style comes across like an editorial – well researched and factual, but still personal and emotive. Sometimes I found Carter gets a little verbose when he starts talking about causes and issues close to him, which doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the book, but forgive him that and this is a rollicking read which carries itself well into the early hours of the morning.