Deadwater begins with the murder of a prostitute in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay. The novel’s protagonist, the alcoholic pharmacist Jack Farissey, wakes up next morning in blood-stained clothes on a plastic sheet and no memory of what happened the night before. Lucky for Jack that the police soon finger local gangster Carl Baja for the murder. What follows is a bleak journey through the dying Cardiff docklands as Farissey looks into his own heart of darkness and that of his childhood friend, the musician Jess Simmonds. Both Jack and Jess love the same woman, who is bent on proving Baja’s innocence. Baja’s release from prison will be the beginning of the end for all three of them.