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  • Published: 1 March 2022
  • ISBN: 9781529149104
  • Imprint: Ebury Press
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $35.00

Deep Cover

How I took down Britain's most dangerous gangsters




An explosive first-hand account of Level 1 undercover police work, from the cop who infiltrated and dismantled some of the UK's toughest gangs and high-profile gangsters, including Salford's 'Mr Big' and cop killer Dale Cregan. For fans of Running with the Firm, Good Cop Bad War and Soldier Spy

Street kid turned undercover cop.

'This time he wasn't getting up. Neither were the two young women he'd just murdered. The two unarmed young police officers he cut down in a hail of 32 bullets and the fragments of a grenade, ending their promising lives so savagely, so senselessly. I felt empty. Cold. How had it come to this?'

Shay grew up on a tough Manchester council estate where drugs and gangs were rife. A life of crime would have been an easy path to take. So it went against everything that was expected of him when he joined the police.

It wouldn't be long before Shay's prodigious talent caught the attention of the top. Then came the call that changed his life: an offer to join the secret Level 1 undercover unit known as Omega. And it was easy to see why they wanted him: he wouldn't have to stray too far from what he already knew. He had all the attributes of a professional criminal: the athletic physique of a cage fighter, the talk, the walk. Streetwise and fearless, he'd be a match for the most hardened villain. He was given a new identity, his DNA and fingerprints were removed from the national database, and so began the life of Mikey O'Brien.

In a distinguished covert career spanning 17 years, former solider Shay infiltrated Moss Side gangs, was part of a hand-picked team hunting Dale Cregan and was brought in to break up a gang war wall of silence after the murder of Salford 'Mr Big' Paul Massey. But there would be a heavy price to pay for a life in the shadows, where any mistake could have lethal consequences...

  • Published: 1 March 2022
  • ISBN: 9781529149104
  • Imprint: Ebury Press
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $35.00

About the authors

Shay Doyle

Shay Doyle is a former soldier and police officer who was one of the UK's chosen few Level 1 undercover operatives. Posing as a professional criminal, he came face to face with some of Britain's most dangerous gangsters, often rising his own life. He was a decorated detective, leading covert operations and tackling high-profile murder cases. Shay's central role in some of the most daring police operations of modern times was unparalleled, but leading a double life, constantly on edge, eventually took its toll. Shay is now a mental health advocate working alonside professionals and organisations to tackle the stigma attached to mental health in high-risk and high-pressure roles. He is also a passionate activist against gun, gang and knife crime.

Scott Hesketh

Scott Hesketh is an investigative journalist and TV and radio producer. Writing for a variety of publications including The Times, Daily Mail, the Guardian, the Sunday Mirror and Vice, he has broken high-profile exclusives on prisons, terrorism, notorious murders and organised crime. A news producer for BBC Breakfast and BBC Radio Current Affairs, Scott has produced investigative documentaries including the BBC's Gangster podcast and is the former Crime Editor for the Daily Star Sunday.

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