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Shadows: Inside Northern Ireland's Special Branch by [Barker, Alan]
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Shadows: Inside Northern Ireland's Special Branch Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Length: 240 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

"Shocking, thrilling, spellbinding (Book of the Year)" (News of the World)

"Gives an honest account of the motivations and driving forces behind the RUC and its various off-shoots" (Sunday Business Post)

"Powerful . . . Northern Ireland wasn't worth the shedding of one drop of blood never mind the loss of a single life. Alan Barker's book makes that abundantly clear" (Sunday World)

About the Author

Alan Barker was born in Belfast in 1955 and joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary in 1973. After three years as a uniform constable he transferred into Special Branch, where he remained for 26 years until his retirement in 2002. He now lives in the south of England, where he is self-employed.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 719 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Digital; New Ed edition (7 Dec. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A4B9A5G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #85,041 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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A real interesting book that lays bare why there is so much trouble in N. Ireland today when we have had "supposed" peace for 17 years.

The bottom line is that the British government has capitulated to the threat of bombs in London from the IRA and are in the process of surrendering to them - the only variable is the time frame.

If you have read "What Price Truth" by Raymond Gilmour then you must read this!!

If not read that book first then read this and all will become clear.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting to a point, but the narrative is very one dimensional and lacks depth. There's nothing new in this book, just the ramblings of a bitter ex special branch operative. Clearly some of the stories engage, but lack grit, depth and, one suspects, suffers from economy of truth. It's easily read, and easily forgotten. Nevertheless, it's one man's story and he obviously has paid dearly for his loyalty to his career.
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What an incredible book telling the real version of the Raymond Gilmore Supergrass saga. I always believed the Politicians had a hand in discrediting the Security Forces of Northern Ireland to appease the Terrorist. It now even appears they pressurised the Judiciary as well. Its a shame that hundreds of Policemen and Soldiers had to be murdered for it to be achieved. Far easier to have given in to these people straight away it would have saved so much heartache. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the Troubles of Northern Ireland and it will surely open your eyes to how the good guys became the bad guys and visa versa.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Very illuminating insight into the outstandingly brave work carried out by the RUC and the sacrifices they endured to keep us all safe from the terrorists
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Mr Barker has wrote an honest account of his part in turbulent history of NI. I think in my experience he has played down a little in the day to day handling of agents. The SB I knew (not many) always had a tougher outlook of the troubles than Alan was making out. He has gone down the same road in writing style as Jonty Brown, enough information without compromise. His recollection of Castlereagh holding centre is somewhat different to what I saw, when dropping off suspects. Overall a good read.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Having worked in the security service in NI I had access to top secret files relative to most atrocities and was initially astounded by the revelations I read that the British Government from the very top sanctioned secret assassination squads to take out the opposition.From my experiences there I do not know believe most things I read. There were indeed two police forces in NI a phrase used by John Stalker, the RUC and Special Branch. But it was a war! And lets not forget that.There were many soldiers and police who from evidence at the time were clearly Guilty of murders, but the top man in the Public Prosecution Service with a stroke of his pen endorsed that there was to be no prosecution in most of these cases. I repeat, It was a War!!!! I often wonder after all this time as to how many Republicans involved can sleep at night after they had set off bombs killing hundreds of innocent members of the public.Whilst not being blinkered in thought of course the same applies to all fractions of militant Prods too.
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Although the style is rather formal and written like a report rather than a book intended to entertain, it's still a decent read. A far as I know, this is the only book written by an RUC SB handler and it reflects a truly incredible time in the history of the troubles and of SB. The author is careful not to reveal too much of RUC SB tradecraft and the book is also short on detail of how it felt and what went through the minds of the handlers on the dangerous streets of Londonderry in the late 70s/early 80s.

Despite the "careful" treatment of the details, one cannot fail to be impressed with the courage of the author and his colleagues. It's also not difficult to empathise with him and his sense of betrayal by the PSNI, politicians and the community of N.I. The contribution of men like him has been obscured by the nonsensical conspiracy theories of republicans.
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Just finished this book tonight. It gives a great insight to life as a frontline police officer in the RUC during some of the bloodiest years of the troubles. The story goes on to tell Alan's life in the RUC's Special Branch and his handling of intelligence operatives within the PIRA and other groups. A must read for anyone interested in any of these topics and want to know of the bravery of RUC officers during their fight against terrorism.
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