Black Water by Cormac O’Keeffe – Blog Tour Review.

 

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About the Book

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.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.Slightly different to the type of fiction I usually read, Black Water is a convincing novel about gangland crime in Dublin. There is no doubt, the subject matter is a grim one. Gang hierarchy from the leader right down to the newest recruits, the children who are being recruited for their cause. The child in question in this book is Jig.
Jig is a ten-year old footballer who should be dreaming of playing for an English team, encouraged by Shay his football coach. Instead he is thrilled and excited to be recognised by Ghost, an important member of the gang. His older brother Maggot is already a member and is out of control. His family doesn’t care, the only one who can try to get him away from gang culture is Shay.
But Shay is not as he appears, he has a secret and is desperate to be away from the Grand Canal streets. I was completely wrong in my thoughts about what his secret was, it was much more complex than I thought.
A police officer, Tara Crowe, is determined not to back down in the fight against the gang, especially when the battle becomes more personal. I found her brave, loyal and a little naive but she was determined to get a positive result.
I found this novel fascinating, but at times difficult to read. The characterisation was among the best that I have read. There were many I wouldn’t like to know, especially Maggot and Jig’s Ma. A lot of it is grim, but in a believable way. Parts of it I had to skim over, parts I read in fear of what could happen. Fortunately not all of it did. But the grimness has some relief from some of the one-liners and the description of some minor characters everyday antics.
Black Water is a novel that opened my eyes and broke my heart.

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