Hodder & Stoughton has joined forces with digital platform Serial Box to publish an original psychological thriller by a team of women crime writers helmed and hand-picked by Sophie Hannah.
The Understudy, which also features writing from Clare Mackintosh, B A Paris and Holly Brown, will be published in audio and e-book weekly instalments by Serial Box, before Hodder’s paperback, e-book and audiobook is released in October.
Its synopsis states: “The Understudy is a gripping psychological thriller that turns deadly when, after a string of unfortunate and dangerous events, four mothers attempt to identify who the threat is at their daughters’ school. Told from the point of view of each woman in turn, the lies of a new student are pulled apart, the school’s secrets uncovered, and friendships destroyed. But how can they find the real truth when each of them has something to hide?”
Eve Hall, senior commissioning editor, said: “Working on a project with four such skilled authors is a wonderful experience. Four brilliant women have bought together their own talents to create a novel about four incredibly flawed women, but each still with a shard of brilliance in their own way. It feels completely cohesive and totally compelling. It is fascinating, too, to work with Serial Box and their unique way of publishing fiction.”
Hannah added: “When Serial Box suggested that I could come up with a great idea and then write it collaboratively, having first hand-picked the writers I most wanted to collaborate with, it felt like such an exciting opportunity. I couldn't resist. Working on the story with three other brilliant crime-plotting brains was such an adventure, and I'm delighted with the result!”