Shadows: Inside Northern Ireland's Special Branch by Alan Barker
In the early hours of 30 April 2003, twelve armed and uniformed officers accompanied by four plain-clothes detectives burst into Alan Barker's house. They stayed for hours, turning over rooms, seizing documents, impounding computers, files and anything else that interested them. The family were treated as terrorist suspects, the operation resembling so many others in Northern Ireland during the Troubles. But Alan Barker was and is no terrorist. In fact, he has spent his adult life fighting terrorism on the streets of his native province. Barker belonged to the Special Branch, the RUC's elite unit dedicated to fighting the IRA, the INLA and loyalist terrorists. He gives a gripping insider's account of life on the frontline and demonstrates how the RUC used sophisticated listening devices and informants, including the notorious supergrass Raymond Gilmour, in their fight to gain the upper hand. After nearly 30 years of loyal service, Barker retired angry and disillusioned about what he views as the government's capitulation to the terrorists. This is the book that Downing Street and the Northern Ireland Office don't want you to read. It is a story of courage under fire, guile, Le Carre-esque plots and treachery.