Tango 190 cover

Areet! I’m back once again, I know in my last column I said I’d only be a couple of days, but things happened and the moment passed for what I was to write about.

But here I am, with a new column and a review of a book I’ve just finished reading. And I’m start off with a question. Do you remember where you were on July 9th 2010 at around… 3pm EST (8pm UK Time)?

I do, I was in a pub in the Felling area of Gateshead called The Mallard, I was there playing darts in the first round of the singles tournament for the Friday night dart league I’m in. (This season we’ve won 2 games are stuck on the bottom of the table, if this keeps up, we’ll be league losers for the 3rd year straight!)

Other than my ability to get decent scores while playing darts there was one other thing distracting me. The TV. It wasn’t that it was loud or they were showing some music channel playing crappy music, it was the fact they were showing live action of what was to be the beginning of the end of the biggest manhunt in UK Police history. And it took place in the North East of England!

Raoul Moat just a week earlier had been released from prison for an 18 week jail sentence, the next day he shot 3 people, his former girlfriend Samantha Stobbart, her boyfriend Chris Brown (who died from the gunshots) and PC David Rathband who was sat in his squad car. PC Rathband was shot once in the face and again in the left shoulder. Amazingly, PC David Rathband survived but was left blinded by the attack! And what I’m going to review for you, is his story of the events during and after the manhunt…

The book is called Tango 190, which was PC Rathband’s callsign with Northumbria Police. The book begins on the morning of July 3rd, just hours before PC Rathband was shot. He describes in great detail what happened that night he was shot, how he managed to find the strength to radio his headquarters to say he had been shot. His time in hospital and hearing about the manhunt taking place which focused on the small Northumberland town of Rothbury.

The manhunt itself ended in the early hours of July 10th 2010 as Raoul Moat shot himself after a stand off with police after he was spotted in the early evening of July 9th. During the week it was discovered that Ray Mears, Bushcraft and Survival expert had been drafted in by Northumbria Police in the search for Moat, in the book we discover he was sneaked in, dressed as a policeman. On the night Moat shot himself former North East footballer Paul ‘Gazza’ Gascoinge turned up. He was drunk and claimed he was good friends with Moat and brought him a fishing rod, a mobile phone, a dressing gown, a can of lager and some fried chicken! I kid you not!

I heard that Gazza had arrived when I got back to my local pub, everyone was laughing about it and in my opinion, rightly so! It was ridiculous that he was allowed to get near the scene but he was blocked from going within the cordoned off area. But I’m digressing, this isn’t about me, its about the book!

PC Rathband gives his views on these and other events he was able to listen to during the week of the manhunt and he recalls what happened when he discovered Moat was dead.

The book then goes on to the following 2 weeks afterwards. As PC Rathband begins to realise his life has begun to change completely. We read about his hope that his left eye may allow him to see, his right eye was completely destroyed from the gunshot blast and the realisation that his sight has gone from him!

He also discovers what happened in the Police Control Room the night he was shot, as Moat rang the police to tell them he was going ‘hunting for coppers’ and shot them! What you discover here is nothing short of shocking and could have possibly saved PC Rathband from being a victim!

We also get his thoughts on the funeral of Moat, including his view on a woman who along with 3 of her 8 kids, had never met Moat, a man who shot 3 people, killing one of them, yet, said it was “a better day out than Legoland” to go to the funeral of a man she called, a ‘role model’.

After all this we then go on to the trail of Moat’s two accomplices who claimed to be held hostage by Moat. As serious as all this is, you can’t help but laugh at some of the details mentioned, I’ll never be able to look at a badger or go to McDonalds and order a McFlurry or a Chicken Wrap without a smile on my face!

PC Rathband goes through a lot of emotions during the trail and we’re are with him every step of the way, from fear, all the way, to laugh out loud hilarity. We also read about a woman, who, during the trail walked up behind PC Rathband on his way into the court room, made a gun gesture behind PC Rathband’s head and shouted “Bang Bang”, she was later arrested for intimidating a witness!

During all of this PC Rathband started his own charity, the Blue Lamp Foundation, a charity which helps people in the UK Emergency Services who have suffered career ending injuries.

The book ends with the end of the trail, in the UK, you know how it ends, but to anyone outside the UK, I wont spoil it. The book is an incredible read and is in the words of PC Rathband himself. He wrote the book thanks to his ghost writer, (now former) radio presenter Tony Horne of the ‘Tony Horne in the Morning’ radio show which was the longest running breakfast show on commercial radio in the UK which at the time broadcast on Metro Radio in the North East of England. Tony, as of July 14th 2011, left Metro Radio to become a writer full time and is now contracted to Biteback Publishing. They met when PC Rathband appeared on Tony’s show just before Christmas last year, Tony mentioned that a book could be made from his story. The book was released on July 4th 2011, a year to the day PC Rathband was shot and went to #1 in the crime section of Amazon in the UK on July 5th.

I can thoroughly recommend this book, regardless of where you are in the world! PC Rathband’s story is truly inspiring he is genuinely a true hero! I’ve included a link to the book which is available in hardback and Kindle versions. I rated the book 5 stars on Amazon but really, its “5 stars +”.

Hopefully I won’t be long away before my next column, don’t forget to rate and review, until next time, enjoy!

Tango 190 on Amazon (This is the UK Site, but should be available else where, especially Kindle) – http://amzn.to/qrjWrv


The offical webiste of Tango 190 – http://www.tango190.com/


Tony Horne Books – http://www.tonyhornebooks.com/