Surviving Hell: the brutal true story of the Chennai Six by Nick Dunn – Review

Next up I’m reviewing Surviving Hell: the brutal true story of the Chennai Six by Nick Dunn. Nick is a fellow Ashington boy who was mixed up in events that cost him years of his life.. it’s a true account of his imprisonment and treatment at the hands of the UK and Indian government.. it’s one hell of a read.

Here’s the blurb


The remarkable story of former British soldier Nick Dunn, who was caught up in one of the biggest miscarriages of justice in the modern era.

Arrested and imprisoned in India as one of the ‘Chennai Six’, Nick wasn’t just innocent of any crime – there was no crime. Stationed on an anti-piracy ship to protect vessels against Somali pirates, the six were arrested and falsely charged with intruding in Indian waters and the possession of illegal weapons.

Nick lost four years of his life trapped in a legal nightmare in India, thousands of miles from home and his family, spending the bulk of his time in appalling conditions at Chennai prison with extremely limited contact to the outside world. Despite this, Nick refused to buckle, and now he tells his full story of endurance and survival for the very first time.


Nick Dunn is a former British soldier.. After serving his country he decides to take a job in security, specifically on an anti-piracy ship protecting vessels for Somali pirates. While aboard ship the Indian coastguard board and accuse the men of being in Indian waters with illegal weapons. The men know this to be untrue and believe it will be sorted out quickly…fat chance.. due to the vindictive and corrupt nature of the Indian justice system Nick and the rest of the men are about to be trust into hardship and uncertainty that would break many.

This tale isn’t just about his time in prison.. it’s a reflective look at his life and event that ended up with Nick being in India.. Nick had a lot of time to look back at things.. he doesn’t have regrets.. it’s just a simple series of events that have led him here but he won’t let this get him down.. he has to be strong.

We also learn of Lisa, Nick’s sister who campaigned tirelessly for his release and the amazing connection between the two of them.. a bond that could never be broken no matter the distance.

In the current climate this book is the perfect read.. Nick had to deal with isolation.. had to deal with the stress of things being out of his control.. I know it’s a very different situation but reading about his strength during that time can help you see that things could be worse.. if he made it through so will we.

What amazed me was the telling of his time in jail… you’d be forgiven for thinking he was just imprisoned from day 1… not so.. in and out of jail, on bail, back to jail, freedom of have it crushed and forced back to jail seemingly out of spite more than anything..I can’t imagine the stress that must have caused Nick and the other men.

Nick was shockingly let down by many.. just not those closest to him.. his family. It wasn’t an easy ride for them either. As we all know life moves on regardless of events that might happen to you.. how do you balance a life when a member of your family is locked up on false charges.

To say this book is a brilliant read is an understatement.. that seems like the wrong word if you look at the subject matter.. it’s a harrowing tale of corruption and imprisonment but also sheer strength of will.. that in the end sees Nick home with his family.

5/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon.


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