Macmillan has snapped up the first four books in a planned eight-part series of novels by Jeffrey Archer.
Publisher Jeremy Trevathan acquired world English rights for the books from Jonathan Lloyd of Curtis Brown. The first, Nothing Ventured, will be published in hardback, e-book and audio on 5th September.
The new novels are inspired by his previous Clifton Chronicles series of seven books, which had worldwide sales of nearly 10 million copies. The series will tell the story of the life of William Warwick, a family man and detective who must battle against a powerful criminal nemesis, following him as he moves through the ranks of London’s Metropolitan Police.
Nothing Ventured sees Warwick as a Detective Constable in the Met's Art and Antiquities Squad. The synopsis states: “Investigating the theft of a priceless Rembrandt painting from the Fitzmolean Museum, he meets Beth Rainsford, a research assistant at the gallery who he falls hopelessly in love with, even as Beth guards a secret of her own that she’s terrified will come to light.
“While William follows the trail of the missing masterpiece, he comes up against suave art collector Miles Faulkner and his brilliant lawyer, Booth Watson QC, who are willing to bend the law to breaking point to stay one step ahead of William. Meanwhile, Miles Faulkner’s wife, Christina, befriends William, but whose side is she really on?”
Archer said: “After I finished writing the last of the Clifton Chronicles, several readers wrote, telling me they’d like to know more about William Warwick, the eponymous hero of Harry Clifton’s novels. I confess that I had already given the idea some thought, before I began working on the William Warwick series at the age of 78. During the series, you will follow William’s fortunes as he progresses from PC to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Should he ever make it to Commissioner will depend as much on William Warwick’s determination and ability, as my hopes for longevity – mine, not yours.”
Trevathan added: “Jeffrey's Clifton Chronicles series is an absolute landmark in popular fiction across the world. Therefore we couldn't be more delighted to be announcing this wonderful new series of novels set in the world of law and order, but narratively driven by family secrets, moral dilemmas, betrayals, intrigue, dastardly villains and, of course, Jeffrey's satisfyingly jaw-dropping trademark plot twists. Storytelling at its finest.”
Archer has sold 3.8 million books for £25.3m since 1998 in the UK, with the Clifton Chronicles selling around 1.07 million copies.