Hodder bags Burr's 'stunningly written' debut in three-way auction

Hodder bags Burr's 'stunningly written' debut in three-way auction

Hodder & Stoughton has bagged two crime novels by Australian writer Shelley Burr, including her debut Wake, following a three-way auction.

Jo Dickinson, publisher of crime and thriller, bought world rights from Sarah McKenzie at Sarah McKenzie Literary Management, alongside Rebecca Saunders, head of fiction at Hachette Australia. Shortly after, North American rights were sold to Rachel Kahan at William Morrow in a pre-empt from Sarah Brooks at Hachette Australia.

Wake is described as a "searing crime novel where the grief and guilt surrounding the unsolved disappearance of a nine-year-old twin girl still haunt a small New South Wales farming community almost 20 years later". Private investigator Lane Holland takes a fresh look at the case but has darker motivations for doing so. 

The debut won the CWA Debut Dagger in 2019 and was previously shortlisted for both the Kill Your Darlings Unpublished Manuscript Award and the Bath Novel Award. It will be published by Hodder in e-book, audio and hardback in 2022. 

Dickinson commented: "Wake is a jewel of a crime novel: stunningly written, gripping from the very first page but also shines a powerful lens on what happens when private lives become personal property. I read it in one sitting, as did many of the team. We have ambitious launch plans to ensure Wake finds the widest readership possible, and feel certain Shelley has a brilliant career ahead of her.’

Burr said: "The day we sold Wake was completely surreal. The most exciting part was the opportunity to talk to multiple publishers about the book, how they had felt reading it, what they thought worked and didn’t. Getting to choose the right home for my book was an incredible privilege, and I’m so thrilled to be with Hachette Australia, Hodder & Stoughton and William Morrow."