Hodder and Stoughton has acquired a "boundary-pushing, darkly suspenseful" new thriller: The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel.
Commissioning editor Emily Kitchin bought UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) from Lance Fitzgerald at Crown Publishing. The Roanoke Girls will be published in hardback, trade paperback and e-book in March 2017. French rights have been sold to Autrement Editions and Polish rights to Wydawntictwo Czarna Owca.
The book, promising to "shock" and to "tantalise", follows 15-year-old Lane Roanoke who, after her mother's suicide, comes to live with her maternal grandparents and cousin at the Roanoke family’s rural estate. What she doesn’t know is that being one of the rich, beautiful Roanoke girls carries with it a terrible legacy which has been passed down through the generations: either the girls run, or they die. When Lane discovers the darkness at Roanoke's heart, she has no choice but to run as fast and as far as she can.
The Roanoke Girls is Engel's debut book for adults, after publishing a young adult series with Hodder previously, including books The Book of Ivy and The Revolution of Ivy.
Kitchin said: "The Roanoke Girls tears up the rule book and stomps on it. With its dark and provocative subject matter, it’s sure to be the taboo-breaking thriller of the year. Not only is it compulsive, page-turning reading, it’s also incredibly atmospheric and beautifully written, with a compelling, complicated heroine who’ll appeal to fans of Gone Girl's Amy Dunne, Maestra's Judith Rashleigh and The Girl on the Train's Rachel Watson. We’re enormously excited to be launching Amy’s adult fiction career here in the UK: she’s a talented author to watch."