Silvertail is to publish a behind-the-scenes account of the 2011 UK riots by former police officer Michael Matthews.
Humfrey Hunter, publisher at Silvertail, bought world rights to The Riots directly from the author for an undisclosed figure. The book will be published on 4th August, two days before the fifth anniversary of the outbreak of the rioting.
In August 2011, the shooting of Mark Duggan by the police sparked an "explosion" of rioting and lawlessness across the UK. Mobs went on the rampage and "terrifying" scenes of destruction and violence unfolded. Homes and businesses were burnt to the ground, thousands were arrested, many hundreds were injured and five people were killed.
The Riots is the "untold story of what police officers on the frontline experienced over those feverish days and nights as they battled to regain control of Britain’s streets". Drawn from interviews with dozens of officers who have never spoken publicly before, this is a "terrifying" account of how the disorder spread through the country and how the police fought back while under attack from rioters armed with bricks, petrol bombs, knives and guns.
Matthews spent more than 20 years as a police officer in London. He has appeared on radio and television in the UK, USA and Canada commenting on crime and issues around policing. The Riots is his second book. His first, We Are The Cops (Silvertail), was a collection of real-life stories from US police officers.
Hunter said: "The Riots shows in horrifying detail how close the UK came to all-out anarchy during those days and nights of August 2011. It drops the reader in the middle of the frontline battles, the chaos and the danger, and you are there until the bitter end, all seen through the eyes of the police themselves. It is an incredibly exciting read, but also a grim reminder of what can happen if law and order are allowed to come close to collapse, in common with the best military non-fiction."
He added: "The Riots is an important book which will stand as a testament to the bravery of the police who dealt with the disturbances, who fought for hour after hour as countless attempts were made to seriously injure or even kill them and who, in the end, made our streets safe again. Michael has done a wonderful job with this – it is the work of a very exciting author who is establishing himself as an authoritative voice in true crime writing. I’m very proud to be publishing it."