Weidenfeld & Nicolson has acquired a literary thriller set in Mexico, the first in a new series by debut author Tim MacGabhann.
Call Him Mine was acquired as part of a two-book deal struck between W&N commissioning editor Federico Andornino and Sam Copeland at Rogers, Coleridge and White for world rights, all languages.
MacGabhann, a UEA creating writing graduate, was born in Kilkenny and studied at Trinity College in Dublin, before moving to Mexico City where he has been working as a reporter, focusing on the social impact of Mexico’s 12-year war on drugs.
Set in the dark heart of Mexico, Call Him Mine is described as a "gritty" literary crime novel about a jaded reporter, Andrew, and his photographer boyfriend, Carlos. Veterans of the reporting scene, from cartel massacres to corrupt politicians, they think they’ve seen it all. But when they find a body even the police are too scared to look at, what started out as just another assignment becomes the sort of story all reporters dream of. Until Carlos winds up murdered, leaving Andrew grief-stricken and bent on justice and revenge.
Andornino called it "unputdownable" fiction with "the same addictive quality of 'Breaking Bad' and 'Narcos'". He added: "But what really grabbed my attention is how Tim brings Mexico to life on the page: vibrant, colourful and violent, full of blood, darkness and passion. It’s a portrait of a country written by someone fascinated by its contradictions and not afraid to reveal its dark heart. This is cinematic, compulsive writing at its best, and quite simply like nothing I’ve read before."
Admitting the book was inspired by his own experience of working as a journalist in Mexico, MacGabhann said he was compelled to write his story when, just two blocks from his house, five people were brutally murdered.
"One was a journalist, Rúben Espinosa. Another was a human rights defender, Nadia Vera," he said. "That’s when I started wondering about what would happen if there was a story that I couldn't let go of, couldn't ignore. Worse — what if there was a story that wouldn't let go of me, with consequences serious enough to break open my perfect expat life? If everybody has a tragedy in Mexico, what might mine look like? And that's when I came up with the story of Andrew and Carlos.
"It’s a privilege now, more than ten years after I first became intoxicated with Mexico, to be working with my W&N family on bringing that story to readers."