A mindless sectarian psychopath or a loyalist folk hero who took the war to the IRA's front door? The name Johnny 'Mad Dog' Adair is synonymous with a killing spree by loyalist terrorists that took Northern Ireland to the brink of civil war. From humble beginnings as a rioter and glue-sniffer on Belfast's Shankill Road, Adair rose through the ranks of the outlawed Ulster Freedom Fighters to head its merciless killing machine, 'C Company'. Surrounded by a group of trusted friends, his reign of terror in the early 1990s claimed the lives of up to 40 Catholics, picked out at random as Adair's hitmen roamed Belfast. Determined to lead from the front, his men even fired a rocket at Sinn Fein's headquarters, writing themselves into loyalist mythology and embarrassing the IRA in its republican heartland. Its desperate attempts to kill Adair culminated in October 1993, when a bomb on the Shankill Road, intended for the loyalist godfather, claimed the lives of nine Protestant civilians. Mad Dog: The Rise and Fall of Johnny Adair and 'C Company' describes in graphic detail Adair's criminal empire and an egomaniac's bloody war against Catholics and anybody else who got in his way.
Adair's friends and enemies talk for the first time about the murders he ordered, his sordid personal life, and his attempts - ultimately disastrous - to become Northern Ireland's supreme loyalist figurehead.