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Penguin Ireland, 2011 - Drug traffic - 452 pages

Badfellas is the story of how Ireland lost its innocence and became a hotbed of gangsterism, murder and mayhem.

Until the explosion of paramilitary violence in the 1970s, Ireland was a criminal backwater. However, petty criminals with dreams of the big time were quick to emulate the ruthless actions of the subversives. Organized crime took hold in Ireland and soon stories of armed robberies, kidnappings and murder dominated the news.

After the introduction of heroin to Ireland by Dublin's Dunne family in the late 1970s, there was no going back. Since then the drug trade has become the most lucrative criminal activity in the state and Irish gangs are among the most sophisticated and deadly in the world.

Badfellas is the definitive account of the growth of Irish organized crime by Ireland's outstanding crime journalist, Paul Williams. Drawing on his vast inside knowledge and an unparalleled range of contacts Williams provides a revealing insight into how Ireland's crime scene changed so rapidly, describes the shocking depths to which Irish criminals have sunk, explores how crime has corroded communities and destroyed families, and he examines the strategies other countries have used to tackle their criminals.

Badfellas is essential reading for everyone who cares about Ireland.

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