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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Black Water

Black Water

A Novel

Louise Doughty

Picador

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A New York Times Book Review Notable Book

In Louise Doughty's Black Water, John Harper is in hiding in a remote hut on a tropical island. As he lies awake at night, listening to the rain on the roof, he believes his life may be in danger. But he is less afraid of what is going to happen than of what he’s already done.

In a local town, he meets Rita, a woman with her own tragic history. They begin an affair, but can they offer each other redemption? Or do the ghosts of the past always catch up with us in the end?

Moving across three continents and several decades, Black Water explores some of the darkest events of recent history through the story of one troubled man.

New York Times Book Review Notable Books of the Year

Praise for Black Water

“Doughty’s excellent new novel is a character study, a glimpse at mid-century American civil rights, a thriller, a meditation on the effects of foreign policy on individuals, a modern love story and a portrait of Indonesian unrest in the twentieth century.... If it sounds like a handful, it is. But Doughty has found an ideal vehicle for her wide-ranging interests.” —Olen Steinhauer, The New York Times Book Review

“Doughty’s language is punchy, visually striking and emotionally potent.... This is a compelling and vivid psychological drama, with plenty of bite.” —Leyla Sanai, The Guardian

“Skilfully drawn and compelling...This serious novel marks a departure for Doughty, whose psychological thrillers, including Apple Tree Yard, have been so successful. This one strays more into le Carré territory— where she seems equally at home.” —Carla McKay, Daily Mail

“Powerful, probing fiction in the tradition of Graham Greene and John le Carré.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Doughty takes a page from John le Carré, crafting a riveting, psychological, morally ambiguous tale. . . richly detailed . . . [T]he role of mercenaries in world affairs adds a new perspective to the spy novel genre.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“Through Harper, Doughty creates a jarringly realistic backdrop of Indonesia’s violent past, sharply contrasting the menacing atmosphere with a growing romance and Harper’s memories of a vulnerable childhood in 1950s Los Angeles. A tense, … More…

“Doughty’s excellent new novel is a character study, a glimpse at mid-century American civil rights, a thriller, a meditation on the effects of foreign policy on individuals, a modern love story and a portrait of Indonesian unrest in the twentieth century.... If it sounds like a handful, it is. But Doughty has found an ideal vehicle for her wide-ranging interests.” —Olen Steinhauer, The New York Times Book Review

“Doughty’s language is punchy, visually striking and emotionally potent.... This is a compelling and vivid psychological drama, with plenty of bite.” —Leyla Sanai, The Guardian

“Skilfully drawn and compelling...This serious novel marks a departure for Doughty, whose psychological thrillers, including Apple Tree Yard, have been so successful. This one strays more into le Carré territory— where she seems equally at home.” —Carla McKay, Daily Mail

“Powerful, probing fiction in the tradition of Graham Greene and John le Carré.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Doughty takes a page from John le Carré, crafting a riveting, psychological, morally ambiguous tale. . . richly detailed . . . [T]he role of mercenaries in world affairs adds a new perspective to the spy novel genre.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“Through Harper, Doughty creates a jarringly realistic backdrop of Indonesia’s violent past, sharply contrasting the menacing atmosphere with a growing romance and Harper’s memories of a vulnerable childhood in 1950s Los Angeles. A tense, contemplative literary thriller and worthy follow-up to Doughty’s critically acclaimed Apple Tree Yard (2013).” —Booklist

"Doughty has created a novel comparable to Graham Greene’s masterpiece The Quiet American in its taut exploration of morality on a geopolitical and personal scale.... The plot is complex and delves into dark, unjustly forgotten corners of history...as much a character study as it is an espionage thriller.... Black Water is a gripping thriller, incisive character study, a critique of US foreign policy and a love story haunted by the 1965 massacres in Indonesia.” —Shelf Awareness

PRAISE FOR APPLE TREE YARD

“Doughty is a brilliant storyteller who knows how to build the suspense to a breaking point.” —Kate Saunders, The Times (London)

“Doughty writes with consummate pacing and psychological acuity, bringing fresh force to a common regret of adulterous lovers.” —The New Yorker

“A disquieting, perceptive and gripping read.” —Amber Pearson, Daily Mail

“Extraordinary...I’ve never read anything like it.” —Ruth Rendell, The Guardian

- Less…

Reviews from Goodreads

Louise Doughty

LOUISE DOUGHTY is the author of several novels, including Apple Tree Yard (Sarah Crichton Books/FSG), which was a top-ten bestseller in the U.K. and Ireland and has been published or is being translated into twenty-two languages. It was long-listed for The Guardian's Not the Booker Prize and short-listed for the CWA Steel Dagger Award and the National Book Awards Crime/Thriller of the Year.

image of Louise Doughtyo
Yves Salmon

Picador

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