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Ex-officer's book on RUC earns him host of celebrity fans

By Rebecca Black

A former police officer who wrote a book about the RUC has received a string of recommendations from well-known faces - including a former Secretary of State.

Colin Breen's A Force Like No Other: The Real Stories Of The RUC Men And Women Who Policed The Troubles, which was published earlier this year, gives an insight into what it was like being a member of the force and attempting to protect the public amid a ferocious terrorist campaign while under threat themselves.

Former Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson was among those who turned up to a launch event in Bangor and was happy to be photographed holding a copy.

Mr Breen said Mr Paterson described the book as "intriguing" and a "look behind the white tape".

The Co Down-based author said that it had been his intention to write a book about the RUC without comment, simply just documenting what happened.

Meanwhile, golfer Sam Torrance, described the book as a "great read, funny and sad", radio journalist Bob Huggins described it as "compelling", and another golfer, David Feherty, has been snapped reading it.

It also won praise from writer Joe Cushnan, who grew up in nationalist west Belfast, and who has described how his own opinion of the RUC has changed down the years, and how the book shows the human face of its officers.

Mr Breen told the Belfast Telegraph the book had been selling by the thousands, surpassing expectations with many stockists having to order more copies than their initial order.

"I've been told that, for an unknown author, the first print run will normally be in the 20s," he said.

He added that his book was selling in the 100s at the pre-order stage alone. "It has certainly hit a chord with the public and that is what I'd hoped."

He said that he hoped to launch his book in Britain next year.

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