Michael Joseph has snapped up the debut novel from “The Killing” creator Søren Sveistrup following a nine-publisher auction.
Rights to The Chestnut Man have already sold in 20 territories, including in the US, with some publishers pre-empting on a one-page outline.
The deal for UK and Commonwealth rights was done between Maxine Hitchcock, publishing director of Michael Joseph, and Rudi Urban Rasmussen at Politiken Agency.
The Danish scriptwriter's first novel will be published in hardback, audio and e-book in October 2018 and he will be visiting the UK on publication.
Set in Copenhagen, The Chestnut Man opens on the day a government minister returns to work a year after her 12-year-old daughter went missing. On the same day, a young mother is found brutally murdered in a city suburb, her hand cut off and a chestnut doll-figure hanging from a nearby Wendy house. Detectives Thulin and Hess form an unlikely duo must to find the culprit whilst encountering trouble in their own personal lives.
Hitchcock said: ““The Killing” held millions of us transfixed every Saturday evening, revolutionising TV in the UK in the process. The Chestnut Man casts just the same spell.
"Søren creates a maelstrom of emotions and takes us into the heart of a family as well as a murder investigation. He is so brilliant at creating characters who stay with you at the same time as storylines which converge and never let up in terms of tension and intrigue. In his detectives Thulin and Hess, as well as grieving mother and politician Rosa Hartlund, he has conjured up characters who are every bit as memorable as Sarah Lund and co.”
She added: “Søren makes the transition from screen to page with effortless ease and we are beyond thrilled to be his proud UK publisher.”
Sveistrup said: “The Chestnut Man is my first novel and I have barely gotten over the thrill that goes with the book being published this summer in Denmark, before I learn that it will soon be published in 20 languages. I’m absolutely delighted and honored to be offered this opportunity by Michael Joseph and to be working with such talented publishers all over the world.”
“The Killing” is a popular Danish police procedural which was first broadcast in 2007 spawning series in other countries and a novelisation from Macmillan in 2012.