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Mad Dog: The Rise and Fall of Johnny Adair and 'C Company' [Hardcover]

David Lister , Hugh Jordan
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 Oct 2003
A mindless sectarian psycopath or a loyalist folk hero who took the war to the IRA's front door? The name Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair is synonymouse with a killing spree by loyalist terrorists that took Northern Ireland to the brink of civil war.From humble beginnings as a rioter and glue sniffer on Belfast's Shankill Road, Adair rose through the ranks of the outlawed Ulster Freedom Fighters to head its merciless killing machine, 'C Company'. Surrounded by a group of trusted friends, his reign of terror in the early 1990s claimed the lives of up to 40 Catholics, picked out at random as Adair's hitmen roamed Belfast. Determined to lead from the front, his men even fired a rocket at Sinn Fein's headquarters, writing themselves into loyalist mythology and embarassing the IRA in its republican heartland. Its desperate attempts to kill Adair culminated in October 1993, when a bomb on the Shankill Road, intended for the loyalist godfather, claimed the lives of nine Protestant civilians. MAD DOG describes in graphic detail Adair's criminal empire and egomaniac's bloody war against Catholics and anybody else who got in his way. Adair's friends and enemies talk for the first time about the murders he ordered, his sordid personal life, and his attempts - ultimately disastrous - to become Northern Ireland's supreme loyalist figurehead. Using sensational new material, the authors expose the mass murderers who did Adair's bidding and provide new insights into some of the biggest secrets of the Troubles, including the controversial murder of Patrick Finucane, the Catholic solicitor.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (16 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840187913
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840187915
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 996,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


"Sensational" (Sunday Mirror)

"The definitive history of Johnny Adair and his Company of evil . . . Well written, meticulously researched and richly illuminated" (Belfast Telegraph)

"Ulster's book of the year" (News of the World)

"Disturbing" (Irish Times) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Hugh Jordan has been Ireland correspondent for THE TIMES since October 2001 and is based in Belfast. He was previously a reporter for the newspaper in London before spending two years as its correspondent in Brussels. Hugh Jordan is a reporter for the Sunday World in Belfast specialising in crime. He is the author of the bestselling MILESTONES IN MURDER and has reported on Northern Ireland for more than ten years..

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very detailed biography 8 Nov 2003
By WhiteCrane VINE VOICE
born 1963,this book looks briefly at his early life. in the 80s he joined the largest protestant paramilitary organisation,the ulster defence association(UDA). the UDA 2nd battalion controlled west belfast. divided into A,B and C companies. C company itself was divided into 18 units,C1 up to C18,each consisting of 30 to 60 men. i liked the fact the book described the structure for the first time i've seen. by the late 80s the authorities acted against the UDA and imprisoned much of the leadership . ironically younger UDA men like adair welcomed this as they were seen as too cautious and some were special branch informants. now the the "young turks" had taken over and could increase attacks. between 1990 and 1994,adairs unit killed 40 people. the irish republican army (IRA) hated adair and tried to kill him many times.this led to the botched shankhill bomb attack,which killed 9 innocent protestants.adair had an ongoing feud with the north belfast IRA leader (who is named and his photograph is in the book,as is the overall belfast brigade IRA leader). however in 1994 he was secretly recorded boasting of his activities and jailed. released in 1999,he got into a murderous feud with rival protestant organisation the ulster volunteer force(UVF). jailed again,released may 2002. he made the mistake of trying to take over the whole of the UDA,which has a loose federal structure. more killings,adair jailed again. but after adairs men killed another UDA leader,the whole UDA chased his family and supporters out of ulster to england and details the leading personalities in adairs unit and includes their photographs. a good very detailed book.recommended
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The myth of Mad Dog exposed 19 Dec 2003
By A Customer
Johnny Adair deserves notoriety in our society and this book cements this. This distateful individual was responsible for striking terror into the population of Ulster, not just Catholics but towards the end the very people he claimed to be defending. Who are now committed to killing his associates in Bolton! A truly horrific account of purely sectarian and in my opinion inexcusable violence, which in turn raises a number of worrying issues such as security forces collusion, but I don't feel this is the key to the book. I find the analysis of Adair's character and personality far more facinating. An inmature, self-centred and egotistical individual, Adair's rise to power within the Loyalist movement is disturbing given what the reader of "Mad Dog" now knows. And also the fact that both Loyalist and NAtionalist terrorists appeared to turn to organised crime en masse after the Ceasefire, perhaps questioning their motives during The Troubles. Well worth a look.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Briliant read. 27 Oct 2010
By mob
This is a great book about a very interesting character. I first became aware of Johnny Adair after seeing a documentry about him on TV, and was inclined to find out more about him.
There is a book penned by the man himself, but I felt this book would be more objectively written, and I wasn't dissappointed.
I found this book hard to put down, and read it in a couple of days (on holiday!)
Whilst sometimes shocking, I think this is a great insight into the man, and the troubles in northern ireland, and I also think this book does not glorify him (or any one/side)but tries to explain to people maybe not familiar with Northern Ireland situation how hard it must be (or have been) for people to go about there daily lives with 'a war' being fought on the streets.
Great book, well worth the read, would recommend it to anyone.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too Journalistic 31 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Too Journalistic and hearsay storyline. All you need to know about this man was that he was an unemployed nobody who gained fame by fighting, murdering and drug dealing. If there were no troubles in Northern Ireland, no doubt he would have still been a gangster. Egocentric maniac. His ego led to his downfall.
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