Callous murderer, outlaw hero or victim of the system? The subject of this biography defies all such labels.
Raoul Moat was the fugitive Geordie, a former doorman who became notorious one July week in 2010 when, after killing his ex-girlfriend’s new lover and shooting his ex-girlfriend in the stomach, then shooting and blinding a policeman, he disappeared into the woods of Northumberland, evading discovery for seven days, despite fighter jets, helicopters and TV tracker Ray Mears assisting police in looking for him. Eventually, cornered by the police, and after a six-hour standoff partially recorded by negotiators, Moat shot himself.
Moat captured the public imagination; as he camped out in the countryside eating with his friends having barbecues and driving to McDonalds, he soon had an online following. As well as those who felt that Moat was a hero, there was also a more telling division in the country, between those who felt, as Prime Minister David Carmeron said he did, that Moat was a callous murderer end of story, and those who had a niggle of sympathy for him.
Drawing on extensive research – including a great deal of exclusive material – this book tells Moat’s story using Moat’s own words, and those of the state services which engaged with him. The result is an unprecedented examination of violent breakdown; an electrifying nonfiction narrative in the tradition of Hunter S. Thompson and Norman Mailer, or perhaps more accurately, given its terrain, Gordon Burn.