Colin Breen is a freelance journalist, screenwriter and broadcaster. He has written extensively for many newspapers, including the Belfast Telegraph, Sunday Life and Herald Dublin, and is a regular commentator on local and national radio, television and the BBC World Service. He served as an officer in the RUC for over fourteen years at the height of the Troubles.


Available now in shops and online.

This is the much anticipated third book in Colin Breen's best selling trilogy.

A Force Like No Other

''An often chilling series of recollections gleaned from ... colleagues in Special Branch and CID, many of whom have never spoken before about the Troubles.'

Belfast Telegraph


A Force Like No Other


''At times hilarious, at times harrowing, but always real.''

''Packed with stories that need to be told, we should read them and think on''

''A most powerful and unique insight into the world's most dangerous job in policing in the 1970's and 80's''

Henry McDonald Observer and Guardian 

Praise For A Force Like No Other

‘This book of real RUC insider anecdotes makes a
delightful alternative to other accounts of policing
the Troubles. It has, of course, the best possible
sources – the cops themselves.’
Hugh Jordan, Sunday World

‘A series of frank accounts by men and women
who served in a force that at times was stretched
to breaking point, A Force Like No Other recalls
the horrors of the Troubles but also some of the
funnier stories of everyday life as a cop.’
Stephen Gordon, Sunday Life

 ‘An often chilling series of recollections gleaned
from … colleagues in Special Branch and CID,
many of whom have never spoken before
about the Troubles.’
Belfast Telegraph

‘Fascinating and intriguing stories from inside a
police force on the front line of inter-communal
conflict and violence, and a reminder of the
high price paid by its officers.’
Peter McDermott, Irish Echo, New York Times

Murders, robberies, terrorism, information gathering
… paramilitaries and the black, defensive humour
that kept people sane are all here in abundance …
Compelling, frank and often disturbing.’
Policebeat: Magazine of the Police Federation
of Northern Ireland

‘If you like dark humour – pick up this book.
Great read, very moving and funny.’
David Feherty, columnist and broadcaster. 

The RUC was a hero organisation to some and a
villainous one to others … a book like this helps to
separate fact from fiction and reinforces that at the
heart of our history, human beings make the war
and make the peace.’
Joe Cushnan, Belfast Telegraph

‘A story of courage and decency amid very difficult
circumstances … to serve as a police officer in
Northern Ireland was to risk ambushes,
snipers, and bombers.’
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

'A Force Like No Other' 
Is Rated By Readers

‘An important and timely book about policing
in the darkest days of the Troubles …
Gripping and authentic.’

‘Sometimes laugh-out-loud hilarious, sometimes
deeply emotional and disturbing.’

‘The voices that speak to Colin Breen are often
harsh, rarely polished, but always authentic.’

‘Stories of close calls, devastating injuries and true
compassion are brought to life in this very poignant
and, sometimes, hard to experience book.’

‘Packed with stories that need to be told:
we should read them, and think on.’

‘At times hilarious, at times harrowing,
but always real.’

‘Strong stuff indeed … It’s a hard book to put down.’

‘This book joins some of the great “true” policing
stories … such as those told by Joseph Wambaugh
or Clare Mackintosh.'

‘Swings from tragedy and despair to dark
humour and everything in between.’

‘Ordinary policing stories in
an extraordinary environment.’

‘As an account of the realities of conflict –
it’s a must read.’

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