This is a work of narrative nonfiction based on the last days of the fugitive Raoul Moat, a Geordie bodybuilder and mechanic who became nationally notorious in Britain one hot summer's week when, after killing his ex-girlfriend's new lover, shooting her in the stomach, and blinding a policeman, he disappeared into the woods of Northumberland, evading discovery for seven days - even when TV tracker Ray Mears was employed by the police to find him.
Bizarrely, alcoholic ex-England footy star Paul 'Gazza' Gascoigne also played a role, trying to get a fishing rod and a chicken to Moat by taxi.
Eventually, cornered by the police, Moat shot himself. Andrew Hankinson, a journalist and a Geordie, tells Moat's story in the second person, which means that the listener is uncomfortably close at all times to Raoul Moat. It is an audio experience unrelieved by authorial distance or omniscient interpretation.
Everything comes from Moat's mind - from his recordings and writings - and the narrative Hankinson has woven is compelling, even if Moat's sentimentality, suspicion, and self-pity are never far from sight.
This is a narrative in the great tradition of Norman Mailer or Hunter S. Thompson - or, given its North of England flavour, Gordon Burn or David Peace.
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- Jay Soul