Michael Joseph has acquired two novels by debut author Natasha Bell in a six-figure pre-empt.
The first book in the deal, Exhibit Alexandra, is a psychological thriller in which a woman in captivity imagines her family’s ordeal in the wake of her disappearance, and the lengths to which her husband might go to find her. The book raises questions of identity, creativity and motherhood and, according to Michael Joseph, will be ideal for reading groups.
Publisher Jessica Leeke bought UK and Commonwealth rights to Exhibit Alexandra and a second novel from Marilia Savvides at PFD.
Leeke said: "It’s all in the voice. The story is very cleverly narrated from the perspective of a missing woman as she imagines what her family are going through in her absence. And Natasha takes a familiar genre in fiction today and completely turns it on its head – so we assume so many things of her story, until we are blissful surprised by a truth which challenges all our assumptions."
Michael Joseph will publish Exhibit Alexandra in March 2018. Hilary Rubin Teeman, senior editor at Crown, bought US rights to one book also in a six figure pre-empt from Alexandra Cliff on behalf of Marilia Savvides and Heyne/PRH pre-empted in Germany.