Big Sky is narrated by a mute called Jimmy Mack. A good man who has to do bad things, he has spent his childhood in and out of children's homes. A kind of benign Fagin figure, he is the head of a family of similarly disaffected youths living on the North-East English coast. Surviving on a diet of petty crime, life is sweet enough until a bungled drug scam designed to rake in enough cash to set them up in Spain puts Jimmy perilously into the hands of Flint, the local mafia boss - and a woman. The pay off for trying to get a piece of the big time is that Flint dispatches them to Holland to deal with some unfinished business. And for the first time Jimmy finds that he is no longer in control.
Seen through the eyes of the mild and likeable Jimmy, the action - some of it violent - is refracted through the lens of his own complicated past, and gradually a picture builds of a man who is desperate to find a sense of belonging. Shrugging off the conventions of countless drug-deal-gone-bad thrillers, Big Sky combines a seductive, almost poetic prose with a thrilling and utterly believable plot that drives the novel to its optimistic conclusion.
'In spite of its savage background, Creer's novel is rumbustiously entertaining . . . partly because Jimmy is an engaging and strangely innocent hero, and partly because of Creer's heady, Burgess-meets-Berkoff prose' Ross Gilfillan, Daily Mail
'Amid the devilish plot twists Creer makes room to flesh out his principals most satisfyingly, and establish a page-blurring pace which he underpins with a unique and oddly lush economy of language' Chris Power, The Times
'Jimmy Mack . . . is the eloquent narrator of Gareth Creer's third novel and, to a familiar story of big money, death and deception, he brings a strange poetry . . . this is a curious novel, and perhaps rare for the genre in its sensitivity, merging as it does the romanticism of crime with a wonder for the world about us' James Hopkin, The Times