Hot Key acquires 'tense' YA murder tale from Barrow

Hot Key acquires 'tense' YA murder tale from Barrow

Hot Key Books, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK, will publish YA murder mystery Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow. 

Carla Hutchinson, editor, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency, on behalf of Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary. The title will be published simultaneously with Margaret K McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster US in summer 2022.

Bad Things Happen Here is the story of an island plagued by the unsolved deaths of young women, including Luca’s best friend. When Luca’s sister is the next to die, she takes the investigation into her own hands. As she exposes lie upon lie, Luca is troubled by panic attacks and anxiety. Her new neighbour, Naomi, is there to support her, but soon their casual touches and innocent flirtations become something much more real. But nothing is as it seems. 

Hutchinson said: "It’s always a special feeling when a book keeps you up late into the night and Bad Things Happen Here did just that. Rebecca’s writing is magnetic and she has created a tense, atmospheric and addictive story that pulls you in and doesn’t let you go. With compelling characters, broken friendships and complicated romances, it’s the perfect YA murder mystery thriller: it makes your heart race, your toes curl, and your mind whirl with deadly secrets, dark truths and the innate need to escape a poisonous paradise. We’re so excited to bring Rebecca’s phenomenal book to the Hot Key list."

Barrow commented: "I am so excited that Bad Things Happen Here has found a home with Hot Key – I can't imagine a better publisher for my queer mystery, and I can't wait for UK readers to discover Luca's story."

Barrow has previously been published in the US: Interview with The Vixen (Scholastic/Archie Comics, 2020), This Is What It Feels Like (HarperTeen, 2019) and You Don't Know Me But I Know You (HarperTeen, 2017). This will be her UK debut.