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Canongate signs up tale of innocent ‘serial killer’

Canongate has signed up a Swedish true crime book telling the tale of a man wrongly imprisoned for being a serial killer.

Thomas Quick: The Making of a Serial Killer by Hannes Råstam has been a huge hit in its native Sweden, reaching the top of the Swedish charts in August and remaining in the top three ever since.

Råstam’s non-fiction title recounts how Thomas Quick confessed to more than 30 murders in the 1990s, before being charged with eight and becoming Sweden’s most notorious killer. However, after investigative journalist Råstam interviewed Quick and trawled through 50,000 pages of legal documents, police reports and therapy notes, he discovered no technical evidence for the crimes. Quick recanted his confessions, and has had five of the convictions overturned, and awaits results of the remaining three, while the Swedish justice system has been in turmoil.

Rights to the book have been sold in nine countries, with Jenny Lord, senior editor at Canongate, buying world English rights in a pre-emptive deal from Leyla Belle Drake at the Salomonsson Agency. Canongate plans to publish the book next summer.

Lord says: “This is a remarkable story that promises to take the reader on a wild journey. Hannes Råstam has achieved an extraordinary investigative feat, and his uncovering of the truth has had far-reaching consequences. Surprising and shocking, this is an important book that holds your attention like the very best kind of crime novel.”

Råstam, an award-winning journalist, died in January this year.