Bonnier Zaffre has acquired Kate Helm’s crime debut, The Secrets You Hide, about a courtroom artist.
Sophie Orme, editorial director at Bonnier Zaffre, acquired world English language rights to the book plus one other from Hellie Ogden at Janklow & Nesbit UK.
The book follows Georgia Sage, a courtroom artist who uses her skills to help condemn those who commit terrible crimes. But when she is drawn back into the trial that defined her career, a case of twisted family betrayal, something happens that threatens not only her career but her own sanity. Orme called it "utterly compelling" and "a knock out read for fans of Clare Mackintosh and 'Apple Tree Yard'".
Helm is a pseudonym for author Kate Harrison, whose non-fiction and novels have sold over 800,000 copies in 20 territories. She was born in Lancashire, and worked as a journalist covering courts and crime, before becoming a BBC reporter and producer in news and current affairs. This is her debut crime novel.
Helm commented: "I had the chance to pitch the book to Sophie before it was even finished, and her enthusiasm and ideas about the concept spurred me on. So I couldn’t be more excited that she and the brilliant team at Bonnier Zaffre are now going to publish my first thriller. It feels like fate."
She added: "I covered landmark criminal trials when I worked as a TV journalist, and that question of whether you could see if someone is guilty by observing them has fascinated me ever since. I loved creating a character whose job is to convey the drama of a trial, but whose own agenda and secrets come to dominate, and even pervert justice."
The book will be published under the Zaffre imprint in early 2019.