Avon Books has sailed off with The Lighthouse, a “terrifyingly gripping” novel from author and bookseller Fran Dorricott, in a two-book deal.
Commissioning editor Katie Loughnane bought world all language rights from Diana Beaumont at Marjacq Scripts. The Lighthouse is slated for publication in February 2022.
Its synopsis explains: “The Lighthouse tells the story of six friends who travel to a remote Scottish island and rent a lighthouse for their stay – a stunning, recently refurbished building that was once notorious for deaths at sea. On the first evening, someone goes missing. The group search all through the night to no avail. But when the five remaining friends return to the lighthouse early the next morning, they are shocked to find James inside. He’s looks terrified – but won’t say a word about where he’s been. It’s clear James knows something, but nothing will persuade him to give up the secrets of the island. Is he protecting his friends from a terrible truth, or leading them into more danger?”
Loughnane said: “Fran seamlessly weaves an evocative gothic setting with a clever, contemporary storyline that is terrifyingly gripping. From fraught friendships and long-held secrets to locked doors and things that go bump in the night, The Lighthouse is an atmospheric, addictive and haunting novel with a dark, unforeseen mystery at its heart. Fran is such an accomplished storyteller, and I’m thrilled to welcome her to the Avon list.”
Dorricott, who works at Waterstones in Derby and whose books include 2019's After the Eclipse (Titan) and this September's The Final Child (Titan), said: “The Lighthouse is exactly the kind of twisty, gothic suspense novel I adore immersing myself in, especially from the cosy comfort of my own sofa. It’s a novel full of atmosphere, from the brooding island setting to the cast of characters who were once as familiar to each other as their own shadows. This story really allowed me to delve into the depths of my protagonists and test their inner strengths, and my own too, by asking ‘How much can we ever trust our friends? And how much can we trust ourselves?’ I loved writing The Lighthouse and I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to work on this project with Katie and the Avon team.”