Hodder & Stoughton has acquired two books by poet Claire Askew, winner of the 2016 Lucy Cavendish Prize, following a four-way auction.
The first in the deal is All the Hidden Truths, the story of a tragic shooting at an Edinburgh college and its aftermath. It is narrated by three women at the heart of the story - the mother of a victim and the mother of the shooter, and DI Helen Birch who is tasked in solving the case. According to Hodder’s Crime and Thriller publisher Ruth Tross, who acquired British and Commonwealth rights, including Canada, from Cathryn Summerhayes at Curtis Brown, the book is both a "knotty crime novel" and a story of grief "trying to make sense of something that defies reason".
"All the Hidden Truths is one of the most remarkable debuts I’ve read – a powerful, clever, knotty crime novel that takes a shocking moment and follows its impact on the families, police, and society," said Tross. "It’s about how grief plays out amidst social media speculation and tabloid conspiracy theories; about trying to make sense of something that defies reason; and people at their best and worst. Everyone at Hodder shared my enthusiasm; I’m not sure I’d have been forgiven if we’d lost the auction. Readers of Kate Atkinson, Denise Mina and Susie Steiner will love it – along with anyone who wants their fiction both moving and gripping. It marks the start of a fantastic writing career and I can’t wait to share it with the world."
Summerhayes said: "I knew Claire was a special writer from page one. I didn't anticipate that she'd ruin the next 48 hours of my life because I couldn't put my Kindle down, but I'm glad she did. Claire has an amazing writing career ahead of her and I know Ruth and the team at Hodder will maximise this opportunity with their passion for this novel and many more."
Hodder & Stoughton will publish All the Hidden Truths in hardback and e-book in July 2018.
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