HQ has won an “addictive” début serial-killer crime novel, The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson, in a six-publisher auction.
Editorial director Manpreet Grewal acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Oli Munson at A M Heath in a two-book deal. HarperCollins US list Hanover Square Press pre-empted North American rights.
The novel follows a spate of murders in south-east London, with the culprit leaving dismembered body parts around the city. DI Anjelica Henley sees similarities to a serial killer she put away two years ago, dubbed “The Jigsaw Killer”. Though the original murderer is serving life, when he learns that someone is imitating his style, he escapes and attempts to hunt down the copycat killer.
Matheson was born and raised in Deptford and is a criminal solicitor. She is also a past winner of the City University Crime Writing competition. The Jigsaw Man is her début, and it will be published in hardback, trade paperback, e-book and audiobook in early 2021.
“The Jigsaw Man is exactly the kind of crime fiction we’ve been looking for—I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough,” Grewal said. “The Serial Crimes Unit that DI Henley belongs to reminded me so much of the unit in ‘Line of Duty’, and [the novel has] the perfect combination of a killer you love to hate, a flawed, complex DI, and utterly brilliant storytelling. We have an ambitious long-lead plan, and I can’t wait to launch Nadine into the crime fiction market.”
Matheson said: “I was completely overwhelmed with the response to The Jigsaw Man and I am beyond excited to be working with Manpreet and the team at HQ.”