HarperCollins has bought two standalone psychological thrillers from Alex Lake featuring “gripping plots filled with killer twists”.
The publisher’s deputy publishing director Sarah Hodgson acquired the titles from Rebecca Ritchie at A M Heath in Ritchie’s first deal since moving to the agency from Curtis Brown.
The first as-yet-untitled novel in the new contract, centres around the “seemingly perfect marriage” of Claire and Alfie Daniels. When Claire goes missing, rumours of infidelity begin to circulate and it becomes clear the couple’s relationship was far from what it seemed.
The new titles will be published in autumn 2018 and autumn 2019 respectively. A HarperCollins spokesperson said they will be standalone titles "featuring the author’s trademark hooky, gripping plots filled with killer twists".
HarperFiction will also publish Lake’s third psychological thriller, Copycat, this September. It follows working mother Sarah Havenant, who discovers a second Facebook profile that appears to be hers, but which she did not create.
Lake is a British novelist who was born in the North West of England who wrote her first book, After Anna (HarperCollins), under this pseudonym. He now lives in the North East of the US.
Hodgson praised the author’s “brilliantly fast-paced plots”. She said: “Alex Lake has proved that he is capable of delivering brilliantly fast-paced, twisty plots with believable, relatable characters time and again.
She added: "He’s an absolute dream to work with, and I couldn’t be more delighted that we will continue to publish him on the HarperCollins crime and thriller list.”
Lake said he was "thrilled" to be continuing with the Hodgson and HarperCollins after the "fantastic job" they had done with his previous novels After Anna, Killing Kate and Copycat.
Ritchie said: “An Alex Lake novel never fails to deliver on twisty suspense and an excruciatingly nailbiting finale, and HarperCollins is the perfect publisher, and Sarah the perfect editor, to build the Alex Lake brand and take his brilliant stories to even more readers.”
Ritchie joined A M Heath in April after five years with Curtis Brown.