Saturday, 6 August 2011

Book: Hood Rat by Gavin Knight

Author Gavin Knight spent two years with police forces in London, Manchester and Glasgow working on his debut book. It’s a non-fiction tale that almost reads like a thriller. Divided into three parts, one each for the cities mentioned, it takes you on a journey into crime-ridden estates populated by people with either no option or no desire to find a regular job. These are the gangsters, dealers and crooks that operate not too far from you & me.

In Manchester we join cop Anders Svensson as he attempts to bring feared gangsters Merlin and Flow to justice.

London is where we find Pilgrim, an enforcer with a sad past who spends time in jail only to discover that the rules of the street have changed upon his release.

My home city of Glasgow is the setting for the final third where Karyn McClusky begins a crusade against knife crime.

I haven’t read a non-fiction book in a long time and I struggled with the delivery of this to begin with. It felt like I was being bombarded with information given in short sharp sentences. However as I settled into it and my brain finally realised I wasn’t reading a “story” I found that the style completely suited the material and I was totally immersed in the tales from each city that, as in real life, don’t always come to a satisfactory conclusion.

Not quite up there with David Simon’s Homicide: A Year On The Killing Streets but very relevant. I even found that I was familiar with some of the cases mentioned.

Put simply, if more non-fiction books were like this I’d be reading more of them but for now I’ll just eagerly await Gavin Knight’s next project.

Ric’s Rating: 75%


  1. I don't normally read "true crime" but this one sounds interesting. Cheers, Ricky.

  2. Same here Michael but this is worth a look.

  3. That's definitely going on the list, thanks Ricky

  4. Definitely sounds interesting. Good Ric Review.

  5. It sounds very interesting to me! I'll check it out. Thanks!

  6. Mariah & Pat, if you get round to it let me know your thoughts.


Let me know what you think. I value all comments and fully intend to reply.