HarperCollins has pre-empted a “mesmerising” French Alps-set thriller by freelance journalist Catherine Cooper in a two-book deal.
In her first new author acquisition since returning to the publisher, editorial director Phoebe Morgan scooped UK and Commonwealth rights, including Canada, from Gaia Banks at Sheil Land Associates. The Chalet is scheduled for publication in November 2020 followed by a second book, The Retreat, in 2021.
The publisher said: “The Chalet follows a group of people who find themselves stranded in a luxury chalet in the French Alps, 20 years after the disappearance of a man on the slopes. One of the group is a killer—and one is a killer in waiting. The Retreat, Catherine’s second book, tells the story of a heartbroken couple who move to France—then find that some of the expat community aren't quite what they first appear to be.”
Cooper is a journalist specialising in travel, hotels and skiing who writes regularly for the Telegraph and the Guardian among others. She lives near the Pyrenees in the South of France with her husband and two teenage children, and is a keen skier.
She said: “I am beyond excited that HarperCollins are going to publish The Chalet and bowled over by the enthusiasm for the book from Phoebe and the HarperCollins team. I can't wait to get it out there and hope people will enjoy reading it as much as I've enjoyed writing it.”
Morgan, formerly at Orion imprint Trapeze, added: “I read The Chalet from start to finish in one gulp—mesmerising and utterly unputdownable. It had me guessing until the very last page and evokes the luxurious—and dangerous—setting so brilliantly. I’m thrilled to be bringing Catherine Cooper to the HarperCollins list and cannot wait to see her wow readers.”