Michael Joseph has acquired three crime thrillers from debut author Gytha Lodge in a "significant" six-figure pre-empt.
Publisher Joel Richardson acquired world rights in the books, which will begin a series, from Felicity Blunt at Curtis Brown.
The first novel, She Lies in Wait, tells the story of Aurora Jackson, tagging along with a group of her older sister’s friends on a camping trip. But 30 years later her body is discovered, and DCI Jonah Sheens and his team must unravel a tangled web of lies to find her killer at long last.
Michael Joseph will publish in hardback in spring 2019.
Richardson hailed Lodge "a major new talent". "I’ve been waiting for a crime novel like this for ages – Gytha Lodge is a major new talent, and She Lies in Wait combines an irresistible premise worthy of Ruth Ware with the outstanding writing of Susie Steiner," he said. "Jonah Sheens is a fantastic character, and I can’t wait to see where Gytha takes him next."
Lodge said: "I’m hugely excited to be working with Michael Joseph. I couldn't think of a more perfect home for the series. It's a dream come true to have such a fantastic team to work with, and I am so grateful to Felicity and the Curtis Brown team for bringing us all together."