Hodder & Stoughton has bought French bestseller The American Trap by former Alstom executive Frédéric Pierucci ahead of a TV adaptation.
Written by Matthieu Aron and translated by Deniz Gulan, it tells how Pierucci “became caught in the middle of what he came to recognise as a huge American destabilising operation, and illustrates how he plotted the key features of the secret economic war that the United States is waging against developed nations across the world”.
Released by JC Lattès in January, the book has been a bestseller in its home country and was dubbed “a legal thriller” by Le Figaro. It also won the 2019 Literary Prize for Human Rights.
The synopsis explains: “In April 2013, Frédéric Pierucci, a top executive of French power giant Alstom, was arrested in New York by the FBI and accused of bribery. The US authorities imprisoned him for more than two years - including fourteen months in a notorious maximum-security prison. In doing so, they forced Alstom to pay the biggest financial penalty ever imposed by the United States. In the end, two thirds of Alstom, including some strategic assets, was sold to General Electric, its biggest American competitor who now services all French nuclear power plants.
“Frédéric's story unpacks how the United States is using corporate law as an economic weapon against its own allies. Under the cover of moral grounds, one after the other, some of the world's largest companies such as BAE, Rolls Royce, Airbus, Siemens, and ENI are being actively destabilised to the benefit of their US competitors, in acts of economic sabotage that seem only to be the beginning of what's to come.”
Rupert Lancaster, non-fiction publisher at Hodder, acquired world English language rights from Hachette sister company Lattès. It will be published in the UK on 14th November.
International television rights have been acquired by French production company Mintee Studio. The series is expected to be screened by major worldwide tv platforms at the end of 2020.