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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True to life, gripping and enthralling
It was impossible to put this book down once I started reading. Johnston Brown tells a good story extremely well. The book reflects the reality of life on the streets in Northern Ireland during "the Troubles" accurately and without any sense of sensationalising the story. The difficulties faced by Brown are intriguing and harrowing, the accounts of his actions as one of...
Published on 23 July 2006 by Bryan Bailie

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Self Promoting
Got a bit fed up with Brown being always right and everyone else is wrong. Became a bit self promoting!
Published 12 months ago by J


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True to life, gripping and enthralling, 23 July 2006
By 
Bryan Bailie (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Into the Dark (Hardcover)
It was impossible to put this book down once I started reading. Johnston Brown tells a good story extremely well. The book reflects the reality of life on the streets in Northern Ireland during "the Troubles" accurately and without any sense of sensationalising the story. The difficulties faced by Brown are intriguing and harrowing, the accounts of his actions as one of the RUC's top detectives ring true over each page. A terrific read. I hope the author brings us the second book he promises at the end of this one. I can't wait.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very, Very Good, 28 July 2008
This review is from: Into the Dark (Hardcover)
For those of you that are either aware of, or are familiar with the troubles in the North of Ireland & would like to read about things from an RUC (Now PSNI) perspective, then I would recommend this book. There has been for years many things both written & spoke about that conflict each other, with regard to this issue, because 2 sides were at war. Finally, we have come across a book that is written oh so honestly, & I really mean that. Jonty Brown speaks about his life (Now Retired) during the troubles & tells us that yes, there was collusion between terrorists & the RUC. Because of what has been written & said down the years, I too was under the impression that all of the RUC are corrupt & anti-Catholic, rightly or wrongly some may say. Jonty Brown explains very well that this is not the case & that there are good & honest law enforcing officers in the RUC. There might not be a lot of them, but Jonty Brown was definitely one of them. Jonty Brown speaks the truth in this book & personally, the man has my respect for writing this book as it could not have been an easy decision to make. It is enjoyable, sometimes troubling but most importantly, Honest !!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underneath the Flat Stone, 22 Nov. 2007
Anybody reading Jonty Brown's compelling account of his service with the Royal Ulster Constabulary, who has not personally been involved with law enforcement in Northern Ireland, could be forgiven for believing that Brown is guilty of `over-egging the pudding'.

They would be wrong. I was there and Brown's account of his dealings with a tiny percentage of rogue officers in what I consider to have been the bravest police force in the world, is an accurate one. Brown had amassed a tremendous reputation as an investigative police officer in his dealings with the terrorist gangs of Ulster, one that was entirely justified.

In writing this astonishing account of almost 30 years' service with a premier police force, the narrative does sometimes get a little disjointed, where some episodes are taken out of context and too little is written about different subjects; for example, I should have liked to have read more of his dealings with Johnny `Mad Dog' Adair. But that, promises Brown, will be the subject of a future book. I hope it is.

This is a gripping account of an exceptional police officer; and a very brave one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave Heart, 1 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Into the Dark (Hardcover)
This book, "Into the Dark" was given to me as a read by a retired Garda while I was hospitalised. It had been given to him in turn by a Republican. I found the book to be gripping, thrilling and well-written. Like other readers, I found it difficult to put it down until I had finished reading it. It was an eye-opener for someone like me from the South of Ireland and from a Republican background. I was not surprised at the brutality of the Loyalist paramilitaries, but the additional callousness of the Republicans did disconcert me. I also felt that the RUC was a sectarian security force rather than an impartial police force. This book certainly dispelled that idea. However, I always felt disappointed when after the RUC helped protect Catholic/Nationalist areas against Loyalist gangs that they in turn attacked the police foprce. I'm full of admitation for Johnston Brown who discharged conscientiously his duties as a police officer, particularly to protect life, against attacks from Loyalists, Republicans and his own Special Branch. His book did a lot to improve the reputation of the RUC, while exposing the treacherous nature of the Special Branch within the RUC and who gave that police force as a whole a bad name. Jonathan and his loyal friend and colleague, Trevor, should be given some special award for the persistent pursuit and conviction of some notorious criminals and for all the lives he saved, paramilitaries included. He is truly a man of principle and integrity. I look forward to the sequel to the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Insight, 1 Dec. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Into the Dark (Hardcover)
From the moment I started reading this book it kept me so inthralled I sat up all night to finish it. It gave an honest view of the policing in the RUC and the problems incountered by the Good Cops. It never occurred to me these honourable men who were there to serve the community would be facing demons within their own force. I hope there is another book to follow this excellently written biography as I feel the author has a lot more to say.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars heros of northern ireland, 3 May 2006
This review is from: Into the Dark (Hardcover)
Brillant read.. Both brown and his fellow officer trevor mcilwrath should be commened for their work.i hope McIlwarth will write a book soon too..Northern Ireland owes them alot!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars into the dark-hit home, 2 Dec. 2005
By 
p.graham (newtownabbey n.ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Into the Dark (Hardcover)
Excellent book,really good read,As a lot of it happened in my area it enticed me to continue reading. could not but this book down.just like to say well done to mr brown
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brave man, 25 Dec. 2009
By 
Paul Wilyman (Marlow, Bucks United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Into the Dark (Hardcover)
Very interesting book - a very brave man doing a very tough job in the most difficult of circumstances. It seems that the main opposition wasn't the terrorists, but instead came from within his own police force.
It'll shake your faith in justice and the policing system, but at least it's reassuring to know there are people like the author trying to do what's right. Scary looking man though - judging by the photos, I don't think I'd try to break the law when he's around!
The only thing that stops this getting five stars is the brief mentions of major subjects that are not further discussed, for example he mentions that he brought down Johnny Adair but there is nothing further on the background to this or how he did it. I accept this is probably for legal reasons but that doesn't make it any less frustrating. He states that it will be a subject for another book but it does make it a slightly unsatisfactory read - it almost would have been better not to mention it rather than leave the reader feeling that they haven't got the full story.
Overall though, a well written, interesting and worrying book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Un Put Downable, 17 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Into the Dark (Hardcover)
Into The Dark was recommended to me by a friend who lived through 'the troubles'. I had very little knowledge of what happened during those times other than vague memories of newspapers reports from way back. I found the book fascinating, I couldnt get enough of it. I read the story with one hand on the book and the other hand on the laptop googling names and places so that I could put faces to names and jog my memory on the parts that I did remember. It is unbelievable that a police officer as dedicated to doing the right thing as Johnston Brown clearly was should be thrown a curve ball at every opportunity by the Special Branch but still continued to carry out his job with a determination to bring to justice the perpetrators of these horrendous crimes. I cant wait for the next book, there is still so much to learn about this subject and I cant imagine anyone whose words I would rather hear it from than Johnston Brown. A truly captivating read.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dedicated, honest ,skilled detective, 17 Nov. 2006
By 
This review is from: Into the Dark (Hardcover)
Johnston Brown reflects on a troubled childhood and his burning desire to be a policeman. He presents himself as a fair-minded Protestant, unionist, family-man, void of any ingrained hatred toward Catholics. He then moves through his induction training and initial experiences as a policeman, on the streets of Northern Ireland. He talks about the dangers created by paramilitaries; and also from corrupt fellow RUC police officers who were supportive of loyalist terror groups. He covers the iniquities of both loyalist and republican groups in a balanced and objective manner.

He shows a passion for the investigative skills needed to be a successful detective, in a dangerous environment. For those in Northern Ireland who rejected paramilitary violence and believed in law-and-order, this book will provide disturbing reading on high-level corruption and interference by Special Branch.

Johnston Brown pursued lawyer Pat Finucane's killer to serve justice, only to be punished for his dedication as an unwavering, conscientious detective. He has the ability to read and analyze some of the province's most dangerous psychopathic trigger men. Whatever your opinions on the conflict, this balanced book shows Brown to be a brave and honest detective, who risked his career,safety and family life to tell the truth. He tells of his mistakes as well as his successes. He wont get a knighthood for his honesty and hard work, however he deserves the respect and admiration of those who reject violence and believe in justice and impartial policing. I hope he and Trevor McIlwrath write a sequel to this book, since much of the truth is still to be told. A fascinating, yet disturbing book.
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Into the Dark
Into the Dark by Johnston Brown (Hardcover - Nov. 2005)
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