Lightning scoops Johnston's MI6 thriller after TV deal

Lightning scoops Johnston's MI6 thriller after TV deal

Lightning Books has signed The Patrios Network, the third novel in the series about MI6 hacker Brigitte Sharp by New York Times-bestselling author Antony Johnston.

Lightning’s editor-at-large Scott Pack acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Sarah Such at the Sarah Such Literary Agency, for publication in 2022.

The announcement comes soon after Red Planet Pictures, responsible for international hit series including “Death in Paradise”, “Sanditon” and “Dickensian”, acquired TV rights to the first Brigitte Sharp thriller The Exphoria Code (Lightning).

Pack said: “When we signed up the first Brigitte Sharp novel, we knew we wanted to work with Antony on a whole series of books featuring this remarkable character. So it was great to see our confidence backed up by Red Planet Pictures acquiring the television rights. The Patrios Network promises to be as thrilling and compelling as its predecessors.”

In The Patrios Network, Brigitte Sharp, known as “Bridge”, faces her toughest and most puzzling challenge yet. The synopsis explains: “A ‘deepfake’ video of an American politician calling for race war in Europe leads to violent clashes and a growing militia threat on the continent, while Sharp pursues a traitor to Paris with fatal consequences. What do online conspiracy theories, sudden power blackouts, and an old Moscow grudge have in common? She must decipher the network’s dark agenda before time runs out."

Johnston is a writer and the creator of Atomic Blonde, the graphic novel that inspired the $100m-grossing Charlize Theron spy movie of the same name. He has also written Bafta-winning video games, Marvel superheroes and multi-year comic series. He is a board member of the Crime Writers’ Association and sits on the video games committee of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain.

He said: “The last year has proven that online activity doesn’t always stay online. This technology can easily and profoundly affect the real world, often in shocking ways. I intend to continue examining these issues through Brigitte’s unique lens, and I’m delighted to once more team up with Lightning to do so.”

Such added: “Scott Pack and Lightning Books have supported Antony’s brilliant Brigitte Sharp thriller series from the beginning. We know they will publish The Patrios Network with similar vigour, and I can’t wait for Brigitte and The Exphoria Code to come to screen. Brigitte is the modern female James Bond—and then some.”