Digital publisher Bookouture has bought three crime thrillers from an NHS psychologist set in the “grimy backstreets of South London”.
Chris Merrit said he was inspired through his work with both victims and perpetrators of crime to explore how it affects people’s lives and their motivations for revenge.
Commissioning editor Helen Jenner has signed a three-book deal for a new detective thriller series set in London, through Merrit’s agent Charlie Viney at The Viney Agency.
Viney has already optioned television and film rights through 11th Hour Films and has sold audio rights to Audible.
The series follows British-Ghanaian Met detective Monty Boateng and his pursuit of the man responsible for killing his daughter. The first book, The Murder List, will publish in March next year with two further titles scheduled for 2018 and 2019.
Jenner revealed that she was “blown away” by the novel which is based around the areas of Lewisham, Peckham, Streatham, Croydon.
She said: “The moment I began reading, I knew I had discovered a great writing talent in Chris Merritt. His attention to detail, the complex plotting and thrilling sense of pace are brought together under the watchful eye of Monty Boateng – a music-loving, devoted family man and all-around brilliant detective.”
She added: “Set in the grimy backstreets of South London, this is a fantastic debut novel.”
Chris Merritt said: "As a psychologist in the NHS, I’ve treated both victims and perpetrators of crime. This inspired me to write a thriller that explores how people cope with losing family members to violence, and the desire they often feel for revenge.”
He said that, having lived in London for many years, he also wanted to reflect the city’s diversity through his story and “take readers on a journey through parts of the city that they may not know exist”.
In 2015, Hodder & Stoughton acquired the debut of medical student, Rob McCarthy. South London-based crime thriller, The Hollow Men, was published in 2016 and its sequel, A Handful of Ashes (both Mulholland), was published in March.