HarperCollins imprint Avon will publish the first crime novel from women’s fiction author Tess Stimson featuring themes of gaslighting, domestic violence and postnatal depression.
The “dark and intelligent” Look Both Ways, explores the concept that everyone is capable of terrible things and will be published under a pseudonym, T J Stimson. It follows the stories of two women: mother-of-three Maddie, whose world falls apart when her youngest child dies in tragic circumstances, and Lydia, a young girl growing up in a violent home, who commits a terrible act she does not understand.
Avon’s senior commissioning editor Rachel Faulkner-Willcocks negotiated the deal for world rights for Look Both Ways and a further novel from Rebecca Ritchie at A M Heath Literary Agency for Avon Books UK.
Stimson has written 10 novels and two non-fiction books, which have been translated into 21 languages. Look Both Ways is her first in the genre of domestic noir.
Faulkner-Willcocks revealed she was delighted to work on this “heart-stopping new novel”.
She said: “With two complex protagonists and themes of gaslighting, domestic violence and postnatal depression, this story is as topical as it is compelling. Readers will not only be gripped but called to question their beliefs about whether it is our nature or our environment that defines our actions.”
Vermont-based Stimson said: “I’m thrilled to join the team at Avon and HarperCollins for this exciting new stage in my writing career. Having published a dozen successful women’s fiction books, I have been aching to write something darker and more complex, and Avon has a brilliant reputation in this field. I’m looking forward to a long and extremely successful partnership.”