Francesca Pathak, senior commissioning editor at Orion Fiction has pre-empted debut psychological thriller, The Innocent Mistress, within 24 hours of receiving the manuscript.
Pathak acquired two books by debut author Elle Croft from Ariella Feiner at United Agents, for UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada. Vulkan in Serbia offered within 24 hours of submission, and further offers are now in from Germany, with ongoing interest more widely.
The book is described as Behind Closed Doors meets Apple Tree Yard by way of "The Fugitive", as a "taut, tense game of cat and mouse in a digital age". It asks the question, if you were being framed for murder, how far would you go to clear your name?
Pathak said: "I raced through The Innocent Mistress in one sitting and overnight the entire Orion team had decided that we just had to publish Elle on our list. There wasn’t a single person who guessed the ending – despite everyone being adamant they knew who the killer was – and that to me shows what a special book we have on our hands. I am delighted to welcome Elle to the Orion Fiction list."
Croft said: "I'm thrilled to be given the opportunity to publish my debut novel, and I know that Orion Fiction is the perfect fit for The Innocent Mistress. I'm so grateful to Francesca Pathak, and my agent Ariella Feiner, for being as passionate as I am about this story."
The Innocent Mistress will be published in e-book and mass market paperback in early 2018.