Début prompts European frenzy

Début prompts European frenzy

Début crime novel In the Mire by Swedish journalist Susanne Jansson has taken off at the fair, with rights sold in seven territories.

As The Bookseller Daily at London Book Fair went to press, an eight-way auction was closing in Germany, with multi-party auctions currently under way for the UK, Italian, Polish, Czech Republic and Estonian rights.

The “atmospheric suspense” novel was submitted worldwide by Ahlander Agency just a week ago, with a string of two-book deals signed, in Denmark (Rosinante), France (Presses de la Cité), Lithuania (Baltos Lankos), the Netherlands (Cargo), Norway (Aschehoug) and Slovenia (Plus). Wahlström & Widstrand will publish the title in Sweden at the end of March.

Agent Astri von Arbin Ahlander said the buzz about the book was “electric”, with “aggressive” pre-empts and cash sums at auctions at “high levels”. The book is “truly an original suspense novel, with an incredible sense of milieu and atmosphere,” she added. Alluding to Iron Age sacrifices to the gods in peat bogs across Northern Europe, the novel follows two women, a young scientist and a police photographer, who are forced to confront “buried horrors of the past” in a mire in rural Sweden.

Ahlander has since updated The Bookseller the German auction closed last night in a "very signifcant deal", in a two book deal with Maren Arzt at C. Bertelsmann, while in the UK there have been “multiple” offers. “Things have been happening very quickly, with a Dutch pre-empt before we even had a chance to make an official submission, and a German offer within the first hour,” she said. “A stand-out in the crowded crime field, this book is hitting home in so many markets.”