Canongate acquires World rights in Parker Bilal’s The Trenches

Ellah Wakatama, Editor-at-Large at Canongate, has acquired World all language rights to the latest book in the Crane and Drake series by Parker Bilal from Euan Thorneycroft at A.M. Heath.

In London, private investigator Dr Rayhana Crane is contacted by a woman who has received an unexpected letter from her estranged son Jason, not seen since he left to become a fighter for Islamic State. When his steps are traced back to the old stamping ground of her partner, Cal Drake, the former policeman goes undercover to infiltrate the sinister network which took Jason abroad.

Meanwhile, Crane pursues a woman whose disappearance off the English coast is soon found to reveal a deadlier connection. As the two investigators delve deeper, they find themselves mired in a violent world where terror and organised crime intersect.

The Trenches is written under the critically acclaimed British-Sudanese writer Jamal Mahjoub’s crime-writing pen name Parker Bilal and will be published in July 2022.

Parker Bilal is the author of the Makana Investigations series, the third of which, The Ghost Runner, was longlisted for the Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Award. The Divinities, the first in his Crane & Drake London crime series, was published in 2019. Its sequel The Heights followed in 2020. Born in London, Bilal has lived in a number of places, including the UK, Denmark, Spain and currently resides in the Netherlands.

Wakatama said: ‘With each book Crane and Drake, Bilal continues to draw attention to the impact of global politics on ordinary lives – moving, in this new book, from London to Europe. Fans of the first two books in the series are in for a treat.’

Bilal said: ‘The joy of writing a series is that each instalment allows you to further develop characters you already know. Crane and Drake are an addictive duo so it is always a pleasure to return to them. In this book DS Kelly Marsh emerges as an increasingly important player, and London provides the backdrop where politics, wealth, poverty and organised crime come together in an unholy alliance.’