My father was in the armed forces, and we had times when we had to look under the car everyday to make sure there was nothing underneath it. I also had a lot of friends whose fathers were directly involved working the streets of Belfast and the fields of South Armagh. I also have friends who grew up in Northern Ireland through the worst of the troubles.
So why read the book? I have seen a couple of documentaries recently one about "The Disappeared" and another about a secret army unit "MRF".
So I thought that I should invest some time in trying to better understand what "The Troubles" were all about... I discovered this book while looking into the story of Jean McConville (one of "The Disappeared"). A UK soldier made reference to the book, in a piece about his experiences in the Divas flats complex.
This book is very much from the British Army perspective (up until 1984!), but all the politics and the (in)famous characters are there, interwoven in the Army's story. It would I think before very difficult to separate the story of the Army from that of Northern ireland over the last 40 years.
Along with all the misery and distress of the fabric of society trying to pull itself apart, there are moments of absolute farce; the capture of six of Brtain's finest by the Irish police due to navigational issues in South Armagh.
A very informative book about events that still touch a raw nerve in UK society, at times hard to put down.