When his dad dies under police arrest after a pub brawl, Cory goes to live with his cousin, Sean. By their late teens the cousins, though close, have chosen different paths. Sean is trying to improve his life through education, whereas Cory has already become involved in petty crime – burglary and dealing E. However, everything changes when Cory stabs a man called Roger after a rave, putting him in hospital. This has grave repercussions for Cory – Roger was supposed to be taking part in an armed robbery with Levi, a notorious crack dealer. Levi now expects Cory to take his place.
Cory breaks his leg during a football match and Sean, unable to find a replacement for his cousin, and desperate to help him, agrees to join in on the robbery himself.
However, having entered a world of (apparently) easy money and hard drugs, Sean finds it increasingly hard to return to his previous life as The Scholar…
Courttia Newland's first novel, The Scholar, was published in 1997. Further critically acclaimed work includes Society Within (1999) and Snakeskin (2002), The Dying Wish (2006), Music for the Off-Key (2006), and A Book of Blues (2011). He is co-editor of IC3: The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain (2000) and has short stories featured in many anthologies. His career has encompassed both screen and playwriting; plays include B is for Black, and an adaptation of Euripedes Women of Troy. He was nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the CWA Dagger in the Library Award, the Alfred Fagon Award, the Frank O' Conner Award and The Edge Hill Prize 2012. His latest anthology, co-edited with Monique Roffey, is Tell Tales 4: The Global Village (2009). A forthcoming novel, The Gospel According to Cane, will be published by Akashic Books (US) and Telegram (UK) in February 2013.