Lightning Books strikes with Maguire's murder tale

Lightning Books strikes with Maguire's murder tale

Lightning Books has signed the fifth novel of award-winning Australian writer Emily Maguire.

The publisher’s editor-at-large Scott Pack acquired the world English language rights to An Isolated Incident from Charlie Viney at The Viney Shaw Agency.

It will be published in paperback and e-book in August 2018.

Billed as “a beautiful observed tale which anatomises the aftermath of a small-town murder”, the book has been critically acclaimed in Australia, where it was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Stella Prize and the Ned Kelly Prize for Best Crime Novel.

Last month Maguire was awarded a prestigious writer-in-residence fellowship by the University of Sydney, worth $100,000 (£55,660). The Sydney-based author has previously been published in the UK by presses such as Serpent's Tail for Taming the Beast in 2004, which was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize.

Pack said: “In An Isolated Incident, Emily Maguire subverts the traditional crime novel by focusing on the aftermath of the crime, the effect on those left behind, rather than the murder itself. In doing so she holds a mirror up to our modern obsession for 24-hour news, social media and the uncomfortable nature of public grief. It is a hugely powerful book and I am proud to be publishing it.”

It is set in Strathdee, a small Australian town rocked to its core by the brutal murder of local sweetheart Bella Michaels. At the eye of the storm is Bella’s sister Chris, a barmaid hardened by life’s misfortunes, reads the blurb. Her ex-husband, friends and neighbours do their best to support her. But as the days tick by with no arrest, her suspicion of those around her grows.  

Lightning Books is the fiction imprint of Eyestorm Media, which operates a co-publishing model.