Little, Brown fiction publisher Clare Smith has swooped for Clémence Michallon’s début novel of “male violence and abuse but also about resilience, survival, love and generosity” in a six-figure overnight pre-empt.
Smith bought UK and Commonwealth rights in The Quiet Tenant from Alexis Hurley at Inkwell, on behalf of Stephen Barbara. The thriller is one of the hottest international rights properties this summer, with Tim O’Connell of Knopf acquiring North American Rights and the novel has been pre-empted or is under auction in 15 further territories.
Michallon (pictured) originally hails from France and is a culture writer for the Independent who is based in New York. Her book centres around a woman captured by a serial killer and imprisoned in a shed on his property. The outside world doesn’t know the truth about her captor, a handsome and at times charming widower raising a teenage daughter. When the woman inadvertently discovers that her captor is beginning a relationship with a local waitress in town, she determines that she not only must escape from his property but also reach the new girl before she suffers a fate worse than hers.
Smith said she read the book, slated to be a Little, Brown lead title in 2023, “ in one wildly greedy gulp on a Sunday, sometimes almost unable to read because the tension is so high but just as unable to stop. It is a truly heart-pounding read, beautifully written and extraordinarily powerful.”
Michallon added: “I'm thrilled to be bringing this story to the UK and to publishers around the world. This is a very personal project, and it was clear from the beginning that Clare Smith and Little, Brown will provide the perfect UK home!”
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