Headline scoops Elston's debut adult thriller in 24-hour pre-empt

Headline scoops Elston's debut adult thriller in 24-hour pre-empt

Headline has scooped First Lie Wins, the debut adult thriller from Ashley Elston, in a 24-hour pre-empt.

Slated for publication as a lead hardback in early 2023, publisher Sherise Hobbs acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Vanessa Kerr at Abner Stein, acting on behalf of Sarah Landis at Sterling Lord Literistic.

North American rights were pre-empted in a “significant” deal by Pam Dorman, vice-president and publisher of Pamela Dorman Books. It has been sold in a string of pre-empts and auctions globally.

The publisher said: “A stylish, sharp, impossible-to-put-down read, First Lie Wins is also a twisty cat and mouse suspense novel that turns the domestic thriller on its head. It’s about a young woman paid to live a life that isn’t hers, and what happens when her past mistakes begin to catch up with her and she must use her wits to protect what matters most.”

Hobbs commented: “Smart and slick, human and heartfelt, this is a book with substance as well as thrills. A female buddy story in part, a lone woman taking on the patriarchy in another, and also a love story, as with the most satisfying book club reads this novel appeals on more than one level. Propulsive and page-turning, with more than one ingenious twist, First Lie Wins also gave me the ending I never knew I needed… Mind blown!”

Elston is the author of several young adult novels, including The Rules for Disappearing (Hyperion), a finalist in the Best Young Adult Novel category of the International Thriller Awards, and 10 Blind Dates (Macmillan Children's Books). Her work has been translated into 23 languages. She lives in Shreveport, Louisiana, with her family.

She said: “I’m overjoyed that my first adult thriller has found a UK home with a publisher as prestigious as Headline. I set out to write a character-driven thriller about a woman who lives in the gray but who you ultimately root for. It was a terrific challenge to keep all the plot twists from unravelling!”