Book and TV rights snapped up for Newham's crime debut

Book and TV rights snapped up for Newham's crime debut

HQ has won two books by debut author Vicky Newham with TV rights selling to Playground Entertainment after a "hard-fought" five-way auction.

HQ editor Clio Cornish acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) to Turn a Blind Eye and one other title from Adam Gauntlett at Peters Fraser + Dunlop (PDF), with TV rights going to Sophie Gardner at Playground Entertainment in a "hard-fought", five-way auction from Jonathan Sissons at PFD. Playground’s recent production credits include "The Missing", "The White Queen", and "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child".

The first of the two books will feature DI Maya Rahman and the first book will be published in January 2018 in hardback, e-book and audio download.

When the head teacher of Mile End High School is found brutally murdered, DI Maya Rahman is called in to the East End community – an area buzzing with energy, yet divided by its own multiculturalism. Maya must battle ghosts from her past and navigate East London’s cultural tensions to find the perpetrator before they kill again. "Turn a Blind Eye is a gripping police procedural, which combines a powerful study of the immigrant experience with a vivid portrait of contemporary East London," the publisher said.

Cornish said: "With Maya Rahman, Vicky has created a sharp and straight-talking DI, who faces a daily battle against racism and sexism as much as against East London’s criminals. Subverting stereotypes through a killer plot, Vicky Newham is set to shake up crime fiction – and I couldn’t be happier to have acquired her first two books for HQ."

Newham said: "I'm delighted to be working with HQ. Clio was excited about my novel from the outset and immediately 'got' what I was trying to achieve with it. The reception from TV production companies has been terrific. My Bangladeshi female detective and Tower Hamlets setting appealed to Sophie, and I am confident the novel is in safe hands with Playground. As a debut author, I couldn't be more thrilled."