Atomic Blonde author Johnston to publish thriller series

Atomic Blonde author Johnston to publish thriller series

New York Times best-selling graphic novelist and games writer Antony Johnston has signed a deal with Eye Books to publish The Exphoria Code.

Eye will publish in paperback and e-book under its Lightning Books fiction imprint in December 2017 to coincide with the UK DVD release of the Charlize Theron blockbuster "Atomic Blonde", which was based on Johnston’s graphic novel, The Coldest City (Oni Press).

Editor-at-large Scott Pack acquired UK & Commonwealth (exc. Canada, excluding serial and audiobook) rights from Sarah Such at Sarah Such Literary Agency.

The Exphoria Code is the first in a major new techno-thriller series featuring cyber-espionage specialist Brigitte Sharp, a "brilliant but haunted" young MI6 hacker.  When Sharp decodes encrypted online messages which she believes are connected to her best friend’s murder, she discovers evidence of a mole inside a top secret Anglo-French military drone project. Forced back into the field by MI6, after three years deskbound and in therapy, she discovers the truth behind the Exphoria code is far worse than she could have imagined.

The book has already received praise from author Anthony Horowitz who said: “Antony Johnston is a talent to look out for and this, his latest entry into the world of espionage, is a treat.”

Johnston said: “If 'Atomic Blonde' was my love letter to the cold war, The Exphoria Code is my encrypted email to the modern age of cyber-terrorism. I created Brigitte Sharp to be a hero for our times; a brilliant but haunted young MI6 hacker who cuts through the lies of this new world, where treason is as likely to be found in darknet websites as darkened alleyways.

"Such a modern story deserves a modern publisher, so I’m thrilled to be working with Scott Pack and Eye Books to introduce Bridge to the world. Scott is a canny publisher, and I’m delighted he saw the potential in what I hope will be just the first of her many missions.”

Pack said the acquisition was “hugely exciting” and the publisher would be “pulling out all the stops to get it in shops before Christmas”.

“Atomic Blonde has been a massive hit worldwide, with Charlize Theron’s image appearing everywhere, and, in Brigitte Sharp, Antony has created another unforgettable character that readers are going to love.”