HarperCollins imprint HQ has pre-empted an "explosive and darkly compulsive" debut thriller, My Precious Snowflake, as well as a second novel, from journalist Helen Monks Takhar.
Exploring toxic generation gaps, and said to be aimed at aimed at fans of Ali Land and Harriet Lane, My Precious Snowflake is about the complex dynamic that develops between two very different women as their professional and personal lives collide. Lily is 23, a millennial ‘snowflake’, on the surface, soft, entitled, pious. Katherine on the other hand is a hardened Generation X-er in her early 40s, a London homeowner with a loving partner and enviable career. The two meet by chance (or so Katherine thinks) until it emerges that Lily has a hidden – and deeply disturbing – agenda. As resentment deepens, and a secret threatens to explode, the two are drawn into a dangerous cat-and-mouse game from which only one of them will emerge alive.
Senior commissioning editor Emily Kitchin pre-empted British Commonwealth rights excluding Canada from Hellie Ogden at Janklow and Nesbit UK. HQ will publish My Precious Snowflake as a lead title in 2020.
Monks Takhar has been working as a journalist, copywriter and magazine editor since 1999 after graduating from Cambridge University. She began her career in financial trade newspapers before writing for national newspapers including the Times, Observer and Daily Telegraph. Originally from Southport, Merseyside, she now lives in Stoke Newington.
Kitchin described the thriller as "a sensational debut; everyone in the HQ office is completely obsessed with it”.
She said: "The idea of someone infiltrating your life, with the pre-meditated intention of destroying it from the inside, is bone-chillingly sinister and makes for utterly compulsive reading. I cannot wait for readers to be sucked, as I was, deep into the dark heart of Lily and Katherine’s twisted relationship and stunned by the novel’s final revelations.
"Perfect for anyone who loved Good Me Bad Me or Harriet Lane’s Her, this is a provocative and unforgettable novel that will seep under readers’ skin and stay there. We have huge plans in store for Helen, and we can’t wait to put them into action."
Monks Takhar said: "With My Precious Snowflake I wanted to shine a light onto the unfair vitriol facing young adults today, but also the struggles of modern middle age,exploring the darkness that could grow when women of different generations are pitted against each other."
Ogden described the book as "the type of commercial fiction you dream of finding: twisty, smart, beautifully written and, crucially, socially aware. Helen, with Emily and the team at HQ, are equally the dream pairing”.