Canongate is publishing an "astonishing" debut novel of "extraordinary suspense" from writer and US Marine Corps veteran Phil Klay.
Publishing director Franics Bickmore acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) from Matilda Forbes Watson at WME. Missionaries will publish as a lead fiction hardback in October 2020 simultaneously with Penguin Press in the US.
Missionaries is about a US Special Forces medic and a foreign correspondent in Colombia where "war still exerts a terrible draw – the noble calling, the camaraderie, the life-and-death stakes", according to the synopsis.
Klay said: "Over the past two decades the United States has constructed a powerful machine for hunting and killing our enemies, while tragically failing to resolve our wars. In my novel Missionaries, I want to show the operation of that machine, how it traverses continents, how it is experienced by soldiers and civilians, and how the violence it generates can spin out of control."
Bickmore said: "We believe this book will cement Phil Klay’s position as one of the major writers at work in the US today."
Klay's writing has been featured in the New York Times, Tin House and Granta. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling story collection Redeployment, which won the National Book Award and Warwick Prize.