Headline has bought a “compulsive” debut thriller in a six-figure deal.
Commissioning editor Emily Griffin pre-empted British Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, to If You Knew My Sister by Michelle Adams, plus one further novel, from Madeleine Milburn at the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency.
If You Knew My Sister tells the story of Irini, who was given away by her parents at the age of three, whilst her volatile, destructive sister was kept within the family. Twenty years later Irini receives a phone call from her estranged sister to say that their mother has died, compelling her to return for the first time to the family home, and to uncover the shocking truth that has defined both their lives.
Griffin said: “I was completely gripped by Michelle’s novel, which I read in a feverish frenzy over a weekend. If You Knew My Sister is commercial suspense fiction at its very best, with a meaty, unforgettable premise, page-turning, twisty plotting and a transfixing narrative voice. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be launching Michelle’s thriller-writing career here at Headline, and we look forward to putting our ambitious publishing plans into action.”
Adams is a part-time scientist and has published six sci-fi titles under a pseudonym, including a YA dystopian series.
German rights in two books have been sold to Goldmann at auction for six figures, Spanish to Maeva, and there have been multiple offers for Dutch, Danish and Portuguese rights with more expected to follow. North American rights have been sold to St Martin's Press.
Milburn said: "It’s wonderful to see Michelle’s fresh and chilling new voice resonate with so many publishers around the world, all intent on making her a leading brand name in our thriving psychological thriller market."
Headline will release If You Knew My Sister in hardback, export trade paperback and e-book in spring 2017, with a mass-market paperback edition following later in the year.