Fifth Noughts & Crosses novel from Malorie Blackman

Fifth Noughts & Crosses novel from Malorie Blackman

Malorie Blackman is publishing a fifth book in her Noughts & Crosses series, inspired by Brexit, Trump and the rise of the far-right in Europe.

Crossfire, which will be published next summer by Penguin Random House Children’s, is set several years after the end of the fourth book in the series, Double Cross, and features many of the same characters, including Sephy and her now-adult daughter Callie-Rose, as well as new teenage protagonists.

Blackman said: “The previous books in the Noughts and Crosses series were inspired by and written in reply to contemporary events. Crossfire is no different. I wanted to write a book that turned the spotlight on not just elections and politics but the pursuit of power. At the heart of Crossfire however are the relationships between Tobey and Callie-Rose as teens and adults, as well as the relationship between two new characters, Libby and Troy, who represent the third generation of protagonists within the Noughts & Crosses series. I’m thrilled to be revisiting the Noughts and Crosses world again.”

Publisher Ruth Knowles said Crossfire continues the series’ “chillingly pertinent” exploration of race, class and the balance of power.

“It is a story like no other for these tumultuous times, and it will undoubtedly continue to be read alongside similarly revolutionary fiction such as The Handmaid’s Tale and The Power for many generations to come,” she said.              

PRH Children's acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Hilary Delamere at The Agency and will publish in print, e-book and audio, with PR and marketing plans to be announced in due course.

Blackman published the first book, also called Noughts & Crosses, in 2001 and it was an instant popular and critical hit. The series has sold more than 1.7 million copies in the UK and in export, according to Penguin Random House Children’s, and has been adapted for the stage by the RSC.

A BBC adaptation is due to be screened in 2019.