Jeff Maysh in the Los Angeles Review of Books:
In the United States, where we average seven mass shootings a week, gun control advocates often look to countries like Great Britain as examples of gun-free societies. Following several massacres involving lawfully licensed weapons in the late 1990s, Britain strengthened its gun control laws to be among the tightest in the world. It worked: since 1997, the United Kingdom has seen just one mass shooting.
So unusual are “active shooter” situations in Britain that a 2010 manhunt for a gunman named Raoul Moat created an American-style media circus, complete with television interruptions that recalled O. J. Simpson’s famous freeway chase. Andrew Hankinson’s 2016 book You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life [You Are Raoul Moat] tells the story of the shooter’s seven days on the run in rural Northern England, after taking aim at three people in two days with an unlicensed sawed-off shotgun.
Moat, 37, a bodybuilder and nightclub bouncer, had emerged from prison with a lethal vendetta against his 22-year-old ex-girlfriend, Samantha Stobbart, who claimed to have left him for a younger man, a police officer. A Facebook message written by Moat revealed a man on the brink: “I’ve lost everything, my business, my property and to top it all off my lass of six years has gone off with the copper that sent me down.”
Written entirely in second person, and drawing extensively upon Moat’s written confessions, audio recordings, and telephone recordings, You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life is one of the most original true crime books to emerge from Britain in the last decade.