Quercus' new upmarket imprint riverrun has acquired a debut crime fiction novel Too Close to Breathe, plus one other, by Irish author Olivia Kiernan in a six-figure pre-empt.
Commissioning editor Richard Arcus bought UK and Commonwealth rights for the two books, the first a Dublin-based police procedural, from Susan Armstrong at Conville & Walsh Agency.
The agency has also accepted six-figure two-book pre-empts in Germany (HarperCollins Germany) and France (Hugo et Cie), a pre-empt in Russia (AST), Japanese (Hayakawa) and Czech (Host) deals, and a six-figure two-book deal with Stephanie Kelly from Dutton in the US.
Too Close to Breathe, set in Dublin, is described as "an upmarket crime thriller". It investigates the murder of a respected biologist, Dr Eleanor Costello – a victim who, according to riverrun, will inspire fear as much as the killer who tried to make her death appear a suicide. The novel is narrated in the first-person by the "outwardly brusque yet inwardly vulnerable" Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan, a policewoman with a violent past trauma.
Arcus said "Too Close to Breathe is an upmarket crime thriller that blends the poise of Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad with the panache of Jane Casey’s Maeve Kerrigan. Olivia Kiernan and DCS Frankie Sheehan are a potent and intoxicating team, and I cannot wait to get readers hooked."
Kiernan is an Irish writer and blogger living in the UK. She has a BSc in Chiropractic and an MA in Creative Writing awarded by the University of Sussex. Her writing has been longlisted for the International Fish Short Story competition, Bath Short Story Competition, the Bath Children’s Novel Competition, shortlisted and longlisted for the BBC’s Class Dismissed Script Writing competition 2015 and 2016.