Kilkenny man’s novel scoops top award

A NEW novel, written by a Kilkenny man, has won the Legend Publishing UK’s traditional publishing prize for best fiction 2012.

A NEW novel, written by a Kilkenny man, has won the Legend Publishing UK’s traditional publishing prize for best fiction 2012.

‘No Margin For Error’ is a crime fiction thriller written by Liam Flood. Mr Flood, who now lives with his wife Fran in Blackrock, is originally from Paulstown in Kilkenny. It is his debut novel.

Published by New Generation Publishing, the book is set in the present day, about an Irish hitman working for al Qaeda, pitted against a top detective determined to track him down.

“Most of the chief characters are Irish,” says Mr Flood.

“It’s set against the backdrop of real events, for example, Osama Bin Laden being killed last year.

“I was thinking about how al Qaeda operates, and I just thought - what these guys are doing is all wrong, from their perspective. What if they hired someone and started to target strategic people?”

The plot revolves around two men who leave Ireland during the 1980s. One joins the Police Force; the other man is from a different tradition and he joins the IRA, becoming their top UK operative.

The two men encounter each other briefly in the mid 1980s in London, but the terrorist narrowly escapes.

Fast forward to 2011: Now the Policeman is recognised as one of Britain’s foremost anti-terrorist experts. The IRA man has gone independent and is one of the world’s top hitmen.

When Osama Bin Laden is killed, al Qaeda decide to change strategy and employ the hit man to spread fear and chaos among the Governments of the west. He embarks on a campaign of terror across the globe.

However, his old adversary is now working with US Homeland Security, and he becomes obsessed with tracking him down.

Mr Flood has worked in the Aviation and Retailing industries all over the world, including Hong Kong, the Middle East, Ukraine and Russia, where he spent the last ten years. He currently works as a business consultant and a writer and spends his time between Ireland and Russia.

His being well travelled gave him a huge advantage writing the book. The book’s storyline moves around a lot to a variety of different international locations - most of which Mr Flood has actually spent some time in.

The novel took around four months to write, and already there is a sequel in the works.

The story offers insights into both the criminal being pursued and the pursuer. It demonstrates that even with the most modern high-tech police investigation techniques and available technology, that if a killer is careful enough, they are almost impossible to detect.

No Margin For Error is on sale now in bookshops around Kilkenny and in some libraries.