Ebury Spotlight has acquired Deep Deception, the "incredible" true story of five UK women who were manipulated into sexual relationships by a state-sponsored spy ring.
Lorna Russell, senior editorial director, bought world all-language rights from Veronique Baxter at David Higham. Publication is scheduled for February 2022.
In 2010 and 2011, it was discovered that a number of undercover police officers had entered into intimate relationships with members of targeted groups and, in some cases, had proposed marriage or had children with women who were unaware their partner was a police officer. This became know as the "spycops scandal".
Five "motivated, articulate and independent" women each thought they had met the love of their life, who shared their passion for campaigning and had joined the same political groups. But after many happy years, their partners started to behave strangely and ultimately they vanished, leaving a note explaining that they had gone abroad to "sort themselves out". Through forensic detective work, they eventually confirmed they had all been in serious relationships with men who were actually married police officers and whose deceit was being funded by the taxpayer. As the women uncovered the truth, their discoveries caused the operations to fall apart dramatically and publicly, enabling them to find each other and take legal action. When they compared their stories, they discovered the chilling overlaps in their experiences.
Deep Deception will tell the story of these five women, whose lives were "stolen by state-sponsored spies" but who came together to take on the police, ultimately winning an apology and out-of-court settlement.
Russell said: "Deep Deception is the breathtaking story of one of Britain’s biggest secrets. Police officers deployed by the Met went undercover and, each using manipulative techniques set out for them in a ‘Tradecraft Manual’, lured these women into serious relationships, spying on the most intimate part of their lives. Our authors have come together to tell the full story for the first time. Their book reads like a thriller—detailed, compelling and powerful—but it’s all real life. They continue to fight for justice. We are so proud to be their publishers."