‘Black Water’ by Cormac O’Keeffe

To exit gangland…there’s a price to be paid


I killed the boy…

Jig loves football and his dog, hates school, misses his granda and knows to lie low when his ma’s blitzed on the vodka and tablets.

He’s just an ordinary boy on the mean 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.


Cormac O’Keeffe is the Irish Examiner’s award-winning security correspondent; his work has given him unique access to contacts in the police and the community. He lives near Dublin’s Grand Canal, and his professional and personal lives imbue ‘Black Water’ with the authenticity, intensity and originality of personal experience. Cormac blogs about his writing, is a respected book reviewer and appears frequently on national radio and television.


This is a novel set in the reality of Dublin’s crime culture, it’s harsh, gritty and ultimately a despondent read; the harshness and reality continues to its closure. This is not a rosy read in any sense of the word, and it’s violent and dark at its core. Drugs, gangs and their culture of violence is at the heart of the story and the writer manages to make it convincingly real, because despite this being fiction, it’s clearly based on the real world and events.
The story centres around a young boy named Jig, who dreams of football fame. His story develops into gang initiation, desires, manipulation and lies. It’s a dark tale; although there’s light in the brave desire to fight gang culture with the character of local police officer Tara Crowe.
It’s not an easy read, from the gang culture, uncontrolled teenagers, drugs, manipulation, abuse, neglect, religious weakness and a young boy caught up in a hopeless situation.
This is certainly not a light read, it’s hard going at times. I had to take a few deep breaths; but it’s an important read and one that opens awareness of the darker side of Dublin life. Phew, not optimistic and defies the answer to an embedded problem.
Well researched and written. I won’t say enjoyable but it’s engaging and eye-opening piece of fiction.

Published by Black & White Publishing – @bwpublishing

GENRE: Crime Fiction

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