The authors are 2 knowledgeable journalists specializing in Northern Ireland security matters who wrote the excellent UVF,about the rival loyalist paramilitary organization the Ulster Volunteer Force. It's all here from the Ulster Defence Association's beginning in the early 1970's through to the turning point in the late 80's/early 90's when the older leadership was arrested and succeeded by a new more aggressive and violent generation that upped the killing rate of Irish republicans as well as Catholics who had nothing to do with the IRA.This new generation included Johnny "mad dog" Adair. The book takes us through the cease fires of the 90's and the brutal UVF-UDA feud of 2000.Finally the disastrous internal UDA feud when Adair tried to take over the whole of the UDA,which had a loose federal structure of 6 brigade areas led by their own brigadiers. The rest of the UDA chased the Adair faction out of Northern Ireland. There's new info on a ruthless assassin in Lisburn and also an informer in their ranks is also named. A couple of mistakes also,Winston Churchill Rea ,a well known loyalist who has been on tv and named in many books is spelt wrongly RAY in the book instead of REA. Also Bobby Philpott who has given interviews openly on tv and in books and was a senior UDA figure,is stated wrongly on page310 as being the UVF'S second in command. Interestingly,the appendix contains a reprint of an internal UDA document which exposes collusion between a senior UDA man and reublican paramilitaries.This led to him being killed by loyalists in the 80's. Recommended.
Whilst the book does cover the history of the UDA, I found the style of the book and the manner in which it was written very disappointing.
Having read a number of similar books, I felt this lacked any sort of analysis as to why such developments in the organisation occured. It also felt as though it had been cobbled together at some speed, with no co-ordination so that the book would 'flow' or follow on.
In some parts it felt as though all that had been done was a review of newspaper clippings: "first so-and-so was shot, then someone else was shot, then someone else was shot". My personal opinion is that it would have been more interesting for more discussion of the issues rather than attempting (it seems) to record every single shooting.