Henry Raeburn led a privileged childhood in Kerrisdale in a family of considerable political pedigree. Following a brief period of addiction and homelessness on the streets of Vancouver, Henry found his calling in photography, building a lucrative international career at the intersection of art and politics, photographing black sites—international locations, not found on any map, where detainees suffer unspeakable torture to elicit intelligence for complicit Western governments. The novel opens as Henry approaches one such site, only to be captured and held prisoner. During a transfer, insurgents kidnap Henry, and demand an exorbitant ransom for his release. As the ensuing crisis unfolds, the reader is transported into a shadowy world of international diplomacy and government as Henry’s father musters all his considerable political capital in order to secure Henry’s release. Intense and captivating, earnest and explosive, The Black State is not only a political thriller exposing our darkest foreign adventurism, but an edge-of-your-seat race against time.
John Delacourt is an Ottawa-based writer and government relations consultant whose fiction has appeared in numerous publications across North America. His criticism and political commentary have appeared in The Rover, The Ottawa Review of Books, Ottawa Citizen, iPolitics, The Hill Times and Policy Magazine. He studied at the Humber School for Writers after graduating with an MA in English Literature from the University of Toronto, and The Black State is his fourth novel.
The Black State will be available in bookstores and online April 15, 2024.