Allison & Busby has netted an "explosive" debut novel by former police officer Graham Bartlett.
Susie Dunlop, publishing director, acquired world English language rights to Bad for Good from David Headley at The DHH Literary Agency. It will be published in June 2022 as the first in a two-book deal, with the second novel out in 2023.
Bartlett is the former chief superintendent of Brighton & Hove Police, and adviser to a number of bestselling crime authors.
The publisher said: "Utterly gripping, Bad for Good marks the start of an incendiary new series set in Brighton, centring on a murky world of vigilantes and corruption. The murder of Harry Cooke, promising footballer and, crucially, the son of Brighton’s chief superintendent, means detective superintendent Jo Howe has a complicated and sensitive case on her hands. Howe can trust no one as she tracks the brutal killer in a city balanced on the knife edge of vigilante action and a police force riven by corruption."
Dunlop said: "I was completely blown away by this incredibly assured debut crime novel. Graham Bartlett’s book is worthy of all the praise already heaped on it – Bad for Good is just the beginning for this exceptionally talented writer".
Headley added: "From the first page of Graham’s novel, I knew I was reading something very special — a thriller writer with the real-life knowledge of policing, perfectly pitched action and pace. I couldn’t be more delighted that this extraordinary debut will be published by Allison & Busby."
Bartlett commented: "Having experienced first-hand the way policing and politics often collide, this story burned inside me. Jo Howe’s world is one few know and immersing her in the extremes of when good people go bad with the colossal human cost of that, was an immense privilege. I am delighted that David Headley and Allison & Busby saw its worth and I can’t wait to share the darkness with readers."