Little, Brown is publishing Twilight author Stephenie Meyer’s first adult thriller, The Chemist.
The worldwide English language release of the book is set for 15th November, 2016.
The "tautly plotted" title is pitched as a "gripping page-turner" about a "fierce and fascinating" new heroine, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers who must take one more case to clear her name and save her life.
Meyer admitted the book was "the love child created from the union of my romantic sensibilities and my obsession with Jason Bourne/ Aaron Cross". Jason Bourne and Aaron Cross are lead characters in the Bourne film franchise, a series of American spy action thrillers about a CIA assassin suffering from amnesia looking for answers. Cross is introduced as a new main character in fourth in the franchise, "The Bourne Legacy".
The Chemist's protagonist is "an expert in her field" who used to work for the US government as "one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name". The book's plot takes off as her former employers decide she is "a liability". But when her former handler offers her a way out, she acquires information that only makes her situation more dangerous, and she "finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival".
Little, Brown UK bought the title in conjunction with Little, Brown US through agent Jodi Reamer at Writers House. Asya Muchnick will edit the title as she did Meyer's previous novel The Host and Little, Brown UK's Antonia Hodgson will co-ordinate the book from the UK.
Meyer said: "The Chemist is the love child created from the union of my romantic sensibilities and my obsession with Jason Bourne /Aaron Cross. I very much enjoyed spending time with a different kind of action hero, one whose primary weapon isn’t a gun or a knife or bulging muscles, but rather her brain."
David Shelley, c.e.o. of Little, Brown and Orion said: "We are extremely proud and excited to be publishing The Chemist – a brilliant thriller that holds you in its grip to the very last page. There’s a very good reason why Stephenie Meyer is one of the best-loved and most successful authors in the world. Her storytelling powers are legendary, and her characters are unforgettable. We can’t wait for publication in November."
Chris White, fiction buyer at Waterstones, told The Bookseller that Meyer's new thriller, following hot on the heels of the release of the script of the "eighth Harry Potter" story, The Cursed Child, later this month, was "the icing on the cake for readers".
He said: “We thought that, with the publication of a new Harry Potter, this year just couldn’t get any more exciting but to have a new Stephenie Meyer confirmed for the autumn will be the icing on the cake for readers and retailers up and down the country. The book sounds intriguing and I’m sure her army of fans will be falling over themselves to get hold of a copy.”
Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga is among the bestselling book series since Nielsen BookScan records began in the UK, with a combined 8.6m copies sold for over £50m. Her follow-up book The Host sold a further 1.2m copies across all editions. Meyer's biggest seller is Eclipse with 1.89m copies sold- yet finale Breaking Dawn is the biggest earner, with the hardback bringing in £12m.
However, the gender-swapped Twilight Tenth Anniversary/Life and Death Dual Edition has only shifted 34,642 copies since last October.
Meyer has spent 11 weeks as the overall UK number one, and 76 as the Children’s number one.