Sphere has acquired a "dark, tense and intriguing" debut thriller, The One Who Got Away, as well as a second novel, by Egan Hughes.
Written from two female points of view, The One Who Got Away is psychological suspense, following the story of Jess, who has just embarked on a life-changing sailing trip with her new husband, and Mia, who escaped a toxic marriage years ago. Mia now faces questions about the murder of her ex-husband, while Jess is quickly realising the man she married isn’t who she thought he was. According to Sphere, both stories will collide as Egan explores the consequences of enduring years of lies and deceit, and how far we will go to get revenge.
Intending to publish as a lead title for Sphere in 2019, commissioning editor Lucy Dauman acquired UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada from Camilla Wray at Darley Anderson.
Dauman said she was "completely hooked" from the first page. "Imagine for a moment that your husband has turned out to be a monster. Then imagine you’re trapped on a boat with him. Claustrophic, terrifying and brilliantly executed, this is a story that really gets under your skin. I am thrilled to be publishing it on Sphere and to welcome Egan to the list," she said.
An early version of The One Who Got Away was shortlisted for the First Novel Prize and the most recent Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition.
Hughes, who works in marketing as a freelance copyeditor, commented on finding her books' publishing home: "It was a golden moment when my agent, Camilla Wray, gave me the news. From my first conversation with Lucy, her enthusiasm and insight shone through. I can’t wait to work with the Sphere team and see The One Who Got Away published next year."