Books

“THE SWORDFISH & THE STAR” was published in paperback on May 3rd 2017 by Penguin Random House.

The Swordfish & The Star was selected as a Book of the Year in the Financial Times & Esquire.

The Penwith Peninsula in Cornwall is where the land ends. In The Swordfish and the Star Gavin Knight takes us into this huddle of grey roofs at the edge of the sea at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

He catches the stories of a whole community, but especially those still working this last frontier: the Cornish fishermen. These are the dreamers and fighters who every day prepare for battle with the vast grey Atlantic. Cornwall and its seas are brought to life, mixing drinking and drugs and sea spray, moonlit beaches and shattering storms, myth and urban myth. The result is an arresting tapestry of a place we thought we knew; the precarious reality of life in Cornwall today emerges from behind our idyllic holiday snaps and picture postcards. Even the quaint fishermen’s pubs on the quay at Newlyn, including the Swordfish and its neighbour the Star, turn out to be places where squalls can blow up, and down again, in an instant.

Based on immersive research and rich with the voices of a cast of remarkable characters, this is an eye-opening, dramatic, poignant account of life on Britain’s most dangerous stretch of coast.

“Hood Rat” was published in paperback June 2012 by Picador.
HOOD RAT was shortlisted for the prestigious Orwell Prize 2012 and the Crime Writers’ Association Non-fiction Dagger Award. It was BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and is being developed by Cuba Pictures into a TV crime drama series. Hood Rat was researched on the front line and told like a thriller: a unique and groundbreaking exploration of Britain’s hidden ganglands.

In Moss Side, Manchester, detective Anders Svensson is on the trail of drug baron Merlin and his lieutenant Flow, a man so dangerous his type is said to appear only once in a decade. Among the bleak housing estates of Glasgow, where teenage boys engage in deadly territorial knife fights every Saturday night, police analyst Karen McCluskey is on a mission to bring a new understanding to the most violent city in Europe. And in Hackney, 19-year-old Pilgrim has made himself one of the most feared gang-members in East London, wanted for attempted murder and seemingly condemned to a life of crime – until he starts to help kids like Troll, a Somali child-soldier turned enforcer, who runs drugs through the Havelock Estate in Southall . . .

In Hood Rat these narratives interlock to create a fast-moving experience of a contemporary British underworld that ranks with Roberto Saviano’s bestselling Gomorrah. Gavin Knight was embedded with frontline police units and has spent years with his contacts; here he tells their stories with sharp observation and empathy.

Page-turning, unflinching and politically-charged – this is a book that could not be more pressing.

Gavin Knight has written for the Guardian, Newsweek, Esquire, The Times and Prospect. Hood Rat is his first book.

HOOD RAT, a true-crime thriller, was published by Picador on 1st July 2011. Buy it here

Buy Hood Rat from Amazon Now