Sphere has acquired two psychological thrillers by Clare Mackintosh, director of the Chipping Norton Literary Festival.
Commissioning editor Lucy Malagoni bought world rights to I Let You Go and one other novel from Sheila Crowley at Curtis Brown.
I Let You Go follows Jenna Grey, who moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast after a tragic accident. Haunted by her fears and her grief, she begins to move on, but her past “is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating”.
Malagoni said: “When I first read Clare’s manuscript, I was completely struck by the authentic, compulsively readable quality to her writing, combined with an emotional pull that propels you through the narrative.
“Then came a twist so surprising and brilliantly executed that I just knew I had to publish this book.
“Clare is an outstanding new talent and I couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds for her.”
German rights for the books sold for a “substantial five-figure” sum, and Dutch rights for the two books have also sold. Czech, French and Italian rights in I Let You Go have also sold. I Let You Go will be a focus title for Little, Brown at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair.
Little, Brown’s foreign rights director Andy Hine said: “Clare’s debut is a page-turner of the highest order. The characters are deftly drawn and the writing is accomplished, the alternating narratives steadily burning up to a very climactic and completely unexpected ending.”
Mackintosh is a former police inspector.
I Let You Go will be published in trade paperback and e-book on 6th November, with a B-format paperback on 9th April next year.