Publication Date: 19th April from Black and White
Source: Review Copy
I killed the boy . . .
Jig loves football and his dog, hates school, misses his dead granda and knows to lie low when his ma’s blitzed on the vodka.
He’s just an ordinary boy on the brutal streets alongside Dublin’s Grand Canal. Streets that are ruled by Ghost and his crew. And now Ghost inked, vicious, unprincipled has a job for Jig.
A job that no one can afford to go wrong not the gangs, the police, the locals, and least of all not Jig.
Black Water was extraordinarily compelling – I raced through it, getting completely caught up in this tense, authentic and very emotive read, the underbelly of gang life in Dublin coming to vivid and horrifying life.
With a gritty and thought provoking prose, Cormac O’Keefe sinks us into this tale of drugs and gangs without any niceties – we find Jig – just 10 years old – recruited into a gang, his home life offering no comfort so he is easily lead to this dark family of sorts – but it is a brutal existence as we are all about to find out…
One of the huge strengths of this novel is the characterisation – there is a level of depth there that really engages. Whilst we do have some genuine bad guys, the rest of the cast are imbued with shades of grey, as things develop you understand why some are lead to this life, you see with stark reality the huge difficulties the police face in dealing with this particular criminality and it is all hugely fascinating whilst being very very sad.
The author pulls no punches – this is not a story with a fairytale ending where everything works out, nor is it one that allows for clear lines between right and wrong – Black Water shows you the stark, unrelenting reality of living in a community divided by gang war and the pursuit of wealth and power, as such it is an intensely addictive reading experience, one that will stay with you long after you turn that final page.
Terrific stuff. Genuinely excellent.
Follow the Tour!