• “One of the most colourful figures in the RUC”

The Sunday Times

PHOENIX – POLICING SHADOWS

New audio book out now

Phoenix is the true story of intrigue, danger and family loyalty centred within the Northern Ireland Troubles. This is the voice of Detective Superintendent Ian Phoenix and his dedicated journey from paratrooper to police officer. IRA assassinations, covert police and SAS operations, with Booby trap bombers and snipers making the rules of the era.

This audio version, narrated by Ian’s son, Niven, continues to intrigue and inform listeners about a very different life in Northern Ireland, as it was during the troubles. The family’s lives were wrapped in danger too, but cocooned in love and sustained by Irish humour in an outdoor lifestyle, surrounding their wild coastal home.

Hearing his son’s voice read his father’s words is nostalgic. It has recaptured a richness to those years in spite of the danger under which the family lived. It provides meat to the anonymous bones of normal life during the Irish “Troubles”. Phoenix ultimately describes the disastrous killing of 29 good people in a military helicopter crash that has never been adequately investigated or explained.

 

  • “Fascinating”.
    Mail on Sunday 

  • “Gripping & informative”.
    Sunday Tribune

Hear how PHOENIX revealed for the first time the undercover war of covert police and SAS operations in an arena where the rules were made by bombers and snipers in the shadows. It tells how the man responsible for almost wiping out the British cabinet was caught, how a deadly bombing campaign in Britain was frustrated, saving the lives of those targeted for death by the IRA. PHOENIX takes the reader behind the scenes of the secret negotiations which led to a cease fire and uncovers shocking details of previously unknown bravery

Almost thirty years after one of the RAF’s worst peace time aircraft accidents, this newest edition includes the final explosive Bonus chapter 2012. It took 17 years for the Government turnaround in clearing the names of the pilots after a long and unnecessary campaign.

It is an intimate portrait of an Irish man and his English wife, Susan, who came to Northern Ireland thinking she would be the wife of an ordinary bobby and instead found herself thrown into the mayhem of the troubles. Their relationship gives a personal background to the tale of terror and counter-terror where a rap on the door could mean death. It shows how love and real family life can sustain a man during a dangerous career.

  • “The controversial best selling book since 1996.
    reported as “the most balanced account of The troubles ever”
    Irish Times 

DR. SUSAN PHOENIX & JACK HOLLAND

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

DR. SUSAN PHOENIX

Widow of Ian Phoenix. Doctor of Psychology, (the Unconventional Psychologist) ex-military nurse, author and campaigner for justice across many fields. Sadly this also includes her fight with the Ministry of Defence for the Chinook pilot’s reputations

Losing her husband and both parents within months of each other in 1994 became a catalyst for Susan to research complimentary therapies for the treatment of depression across the world. As a result, she became committed to sharing the drug free path to wholeness and renewed happiness.

JACK HOLLAND

4 JUNE 1947 – 14 MAY 2004

Jack Holland took a brave step when he agreed to co-author this tribute to Ian. I could not have written such a comprehensive record of Ian’s life and the associated Irish politics without Jack’s scholarship. The book was an instant bestseller, but it was also highly controversial and Jack faced the criticism from paramilitary groups and the authorities alike with great stoicism, in order to help me pay tribute to a brave man. This audio presentation of our original script now with updated additions is my tribute to Jack’s scholarship of Irish history. (Susan Phoenix 2023)

FROM PREVIOUS EDITIONS OF THE BOOK

PRESS REVIEWS

“This is the real deal: an amazing account of the day to day counter- terrorist work of a superb Irish policeman -helped by his wife who was as much a comrade as any of his colleagues- a man who never lost either his sense of humour or sight of the fact that the long-term object of his life’s work was peace. Someday the whole island of Ireland will bring him, and a handful of others like him, out of the shadows and honour him as a great Irishman”. Eoghan Harris -Irish Independent and Irish Times journalist

Nitty Gritty, Eoghan Harris -Irish Independent and Irish Times journalist

“This is probably the best book that I have read. I found it very hard to put down. This book gives a behind the scene look at how the Royal Ulster Constabulary Special Branch dealt with the troubles throughout the 1980’s and early 1990’s.
It shows the total dedication by individuals to ensure that people living in Northern Ireland no matter their religion, could do so as safely as possible.

Amazon reader, Kindle Edition
“An extraordinary insight into the news stories from 20 years of The Troubles. Reading this book, it was impossible not to be reminded of the names of various killers from news items I heard when I was growing up in NI. Other gems include a photo of a certain Gerald Adams Jr, then Commander of PIRA Northern Area, as a young man.
One can’t help but wonder at the stupidity of putting all of a country’s intelligence chiefs into one aircraft – not exactly tactical genius on display, and very surprising. The other surprise was that he was able to keep up the pretence to Jack Holland of being a hearing aid salesman for all those years! This is a very interesting book, of particular interest to people from NI, Ireland (the 6 counties/the North of Ireland &c, &c), or people from the UK with an interest in politics or history.
I am sure that policing is a lot duller and less fun without Detective Superintendant Ian Phoenix.
Amazon reader, Paperback

“An excellent read from an inspirational woman on an amazing man, Valhalla will be a safer place with him there
R Crane, Amazon reader: Why Two RAF Air Marshalls wrongly mired the reputations of two deceased Pilots.
2 July 2012

Amazon reader, Kindle Edition

This book has been changed from a best-seller to a blockbuster with this additional chapter. Here many of the questions raised by the extraordinary finding by two Air Marshals of Gross Negligence against two deceased pilots are answered. For no matter that the injustice of the finding was finally laid aside by the Secretary of State for Defence, the nagging question remained, why should they have announced it in the first place? The answers laid out in this chapter raise yet more questions, what other fatal accidents might not have been properly investigated, how many people have died in avoidable airworthiness related fatal accidents, can the MAA prevent further such avoidable accidents or must it first be made separate and independent of the MOD before it can do so?
A very personal story by a grieving widow has a message that should concern everyone that believes that our military aircraft should be airworthy.
The Truth at last about the Mull of Kintyre Crash
2 July 2012

Amazon reader, Kindle Edition
The original book was a best seller but, unavoidably, was unable to close the file on the 1994 Mull of Kintyre crash, in which the author, Dr Susan Phoenix, lost her husband.This updated version, written after the Government overturned the gross negligence verdict against the two RAF pilots, does not bury the reader with detail; but those who want to can follow links to the crucial evidence presented Lord Philip’s inquiry which demonstrated, beyond any doubt whatsoever, the aircraft was not airworthy. It also reveals how this evidence was withheld from the RAF’s own Board of Inquiry, the Scottish Fatal Accident Inquiry, the Houses of Commons and Lords, and even from MoD’s own staffs charged with ensuring airworthiness.
Dr Phoenix describes how she was lied to by the Ministry of Defence over these facts, but with the assistance of technical experts ensured Lord Philip was made aware of the truth, resulting in an abject apology from a Minister of State.
The reader will be utterly disgusted at MoD’s lack of honesty and integrity. You will ask yourself why senior retired RAF officers are not in the dock answering serious charges. You will also be challenged to ask what else their actions led to. For example, was there a direct link between the failures on Chinook and the loss of Nimrod XV230 in 2006? The evidence to Lord Philip says yes, which in turn leads one to ask why this has been buried by the Government. How many lives have been lost unnecessarily during that 17-year cover-up?
Amazon reader, Kindle Edition

Cover design by www.davidiansturdycreative.org

Phoenix is a gripping, informative still controversial true story culminating in the controversial Chinook helicopter crash on the mull of Kintyre in 1994.

Ian Phoenix had spent twenty five years in an undercover war against some of the most deadly terrorist organisations in the world. Head of an RUC counter-surveillance unit, Phoenix revealed for the first time how the undercover war was fought in an arena of IRA snipers, doorstep assassins and under car boobytrap bombs. Police , SAS and MI5 officers in one of Britain’s bloodiest battles.
The intimate portrait of a remarkable love between an Irish man and his English wife is portrayed amongst the mayhem of the Northern Ireland Troubles.
Uniquely narrated by Phoenix’s wife and son.

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