The Borough Press will publish a “compulsive” novel about a women who works in Whitehall’s Counter-Terrorism Unit, by journalist and author Charlotte Philby.
Ann Bissell, publicity director and commissioning editor, has acquired world English language rights to two novels by Charlotte Philby, in a new deal struck with Julia Silk at Kingsford Campbell Literary Agency.
Following the publication of Philby’s debut novel The Most Difficult Thing this July, Borough will publish A Duplicitous Life in 2020, with the third novel scheduled for 2021.
A Duplicitous Life “blends domestic suspense with contemporary espionage in a page-turning and chilling exploration of how a split-second decision can change a life forever”.
The synopsis reads: “Kate works in the FCO’s Counter-Terrorism Unit, where she runs a small and powerful team based in Whitehall. She is charming, tenacious, self-effacing, and the family breadwinner. Kate’s husband Tom works from home and looks after their two small children. After returning from a six-month stint in Russia setting up a new department for the FCO, Tom becomes concerned about Kate. Something doesn’t seem quite right.”
Now a freelance journalist, Philby worked for the Independent for eight years in various roles as well as being a former contributing editor and feature writer at Marie Claire. She was shortlisted for the Cudlipp Prize for her investigative journalism at the 2013 Press Awards, is a founder of the online platform Motherland.net, and has contributed to all the major newspapers, as well as the BBC, Channel 4 and numerous magazines and books. She is the granddaughter of Kim Philby, Britain’s most famous communist double-agent, known as ‘third man’ in the notorious Cambridge spy ring.
Philby, who is based in London, said: “It’s been a total joy working with my editor Ann Bissell, and the whole Borough team. I am hugely excited to be getting stuck into two more novels with such a magnificent force behind me.”
Bissell said: “So far, the reception for The Most Difficult Thing has been phenomenal and A Duplicitous Life is another beautifully written yet compulsive read, with two brilliantly clever storylines racing towards a heart-pounding denouement.”
She added: “We have big plans for Charlotte and I’m so pleased she has chosen Borough as her home.”
Silk said: “It's been truly exciting to watch Borough take such a collaborative and creative approach to publishing The Most Difficult Thing. Charlotte is a wonderful writer with so many stories to tell, and I am delighted that she will be continuing to work with Ann and the team to build her career.”