Avon has picked up a “claustrophobic and twisty” domestic suspense novel by Bryony Pearce in a two-book deal.
Assistant editor Molly Walker-Sharp bought world English rights to the untitled books from Catherine Pellegrino at Marjacq Scripts.
The first book in the deal has “dark family secrets and an unreliable narrator at its centre”. Avon said it follows a new mother who becomes obsessed with finding a missing little girl when she witnesses her kidnapping from a train and is powerless to stop it. It is slated to publish in spring 2021 with the second following the year after.
Walker-Sharp said: “I was taken with Bryony’s writing from the moment it landed in my inbox; her storytelling has you in its grasp from the very first chapter – perfectly encapsulating the slog of a busy London commute – and you never know who or what to believe. Just as you think you know how it’s going to unravel, she adds another twist. Bryony is such a talent, and I am delighted to be working with her on her adult fiction debut.”
Pearce began her career writing for young adults and is the winner of SCBWI Undiscovered Voices 2008. Her first novel for teenagers, Angel’s Fury (Egmont), published in 2011 won both the Cheshire Schools Book Award and the Leeds Book Award. Since then, she has had published eight more titles. She also writes science fiction short stories for anthologies, visits schools to teach creative writing and mentors aspiring writers.
She said: “I’ve been thinking about telling this story which is, in a lot of ways, highly personal, for some years. It’s a dark thriller that also deals with mental health issues, particularly in the area of post-natal depression and how it can affect new families. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be working in this genre with Molly Walker-Sharp and the team at Avon, who are bringing Bridget’s narrative to the market with sensitivity, inspiration and enthusiasm.”