Hodder pre-empts 'compelling' debut from Cooper in two-book deal

Hodder pre-empts 'compelling' debut from Cooper in two-book deal

Hodder & Stoughton has pre-empted an “incredibly compelling” domestic suspense novel from debut author Helen Cooper in a "major" two-book deal.

Editorial director Kimberley Atkins struck the deal with Hellie Ogden at Janklow & Nesbit for world rights in all languages. The first novel in the deal, The Downstairs Neighbour, will be released in hardback and e-book in spring 2021.

It tells the story of Steph and Paul, whose teenage daughter goes missing, and Emma, the woman who lives in the flat downstairs who becomes drawn into their drama.

Atkins said: “I’m extremely excited to publish The Downstairs Neighbour – it takes such an accomplished writer to give the story of a missing person an entirely fresh spin but Helen has done that and then some in this powerhouse of a debut. This is a novel packed full of unexpected twists that will keep the reader guessing until the final page. It’s very clever, incredibly compelling and makes you question how well you can truly know the people closest to you.”

Cooper, head of learning enhancement at the University of Birmingham, said: “I couldn't be happier to be joining Hodder & Stoughton's list and to be working with Kimberley and the team. Their response to my book and their enthusiasm for launching it have been overwhelming. I'm very excited about the journey ahead.“