Black & White Publishing has acquired a "compelling" crime thriller by award-winning security correspondent Cormac O’Keeffe.
The publisher acquired world English rights to O'Keeffe's debut Black Water from Ger Nichol at The Book Bureau Literary Agency.
Black Water follows the fate of Jig, a young boy who is being groomed into gangland by crime boss Ghost, and the efforts of Jig's football coach Shay to save him. But Shay is driven by shadowy motivations and really wants his old life back – something that will only come at a terrible cost. Into their lives enters young detective Tara Crowe, who is determined to clean out the gangs that rule the gritty neighbourhood alongside Dublin’s Grand Canal. It's a race against time, as a wider war on gangs ratchets up to an explosive climax.
O’Keeffe is a journalist in Ireland, specialising in security, crime and drugs. He has lived in gangland communities near the Grand Canal in Dublin, the main setting of the book, for many years.
Campbell Brown, m.d. of Black & White, said: “We were bowled over by Black Water. Not only does it have the great pace and characterisation that hallmarks fantastic crime fiction, it also manages to be a gritty social commentary with aeons of humanity. We can’t wait to share it with readers next year.”
O’Keeffe said: “I wanted to drop readers into an authentic gangland community – one where they could taste the grit in their mouths. But, I wanted to do it through the human story of a boy, who is sucked into a crime gang, his football coach, who is struggling to save him, and a detective, who wants to bring the boy and his gang to justice. And I wanted to set this tale within a shady, and thrilling, police war on gangs. I am absolutely delighted Black and White decided to take my novel on and I am really excited to be working with them.”
Black Water will be published in paperback original in March 2018, priced £7.99.