Title: Buried Alive
Author: Roy Hallums
Genre: Non-fiction (memoir)
Source: Review Copy
Set in: Iraq
Rating: 4 out of 5
Roy was a 56 year old retired Naval commander working for a food supply contractor in Baghdad’s high-end Mansour district. In 2004, Roy was kidnapped by gunmen who stormed his Office. 3 Iraqi’s and a Filipino Robert was kidnapped along with him. After shuffling Roy and Robert to a few places, they finally kept them in an underground cell in a house in the middle of nowhere.
For 311 days Roy along with Robert survived hellish conditions while being blindfolded and handcuffed most of the time. Buried Alive is the story of their survival and hope against all odds.I admire Roy for his courage and his ability to stay sane in the most trying circumstances.
Buried Alive is not just a hostage drama. We also get a glimpse into how kidnapping became a business to make money, to bargain or simply to spread terror in foreign countries. The most surprising information was how many Iraqis are kidnapped for extortion. We hear about people from various nationalities being kidnapped and the various foreign government efforts to negotiate, what we don’t hear often is how these kidnappers take hostage their own countrymen to get money.
The book also gives us a glimpse into Roy’s family and how they dealt with his kidnapping. Also, it was interesting to see how the FBI controlled every aspect of information sent/ given about the kidnapping. When I started this book my progress was a little slow but after 50 pages, I just breezed through it. Buried Alive is also a good look behind all those kidnapping and killing videos we’ve see on the news. Horrifying but true. Recommended.