Hodder scoops debut Swedish thriller, capping off LBF 2017

Hodder scoops debut Swedish thriller, capping off LBF 2017

In the Mire, the atmospheric Swedish debut which prompted a Europe-wide frenzy for rights at last week's London Book Fair, has been snapped up by Hodder & Stoughton after a three-way auction. 

Crime and thriller publisher Ruth Tross bought British and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, as part of a two-book deal and will publish In the Mire by Susanne Jansson on the Mulholland list in early 2019.

The "solid five-figure deal" represents the ninth territory into which the book has sold, following hot on the heels of an eight-way auction in Germany at the end of last week that closed in a "very significant deal" between Maren Arzt at C. Bertelsmann and agent Astri von Arbin Ahlander.

Rights to the "eerie" thriller, about two women who are forced to confront “buried horrors of the past” in a mire in rural Sweden, were bought after a series of “aggressive” pre-empts and auctions during LBF in Denmark (Rosinante), France (Presses de la Cité), Lithuania (Baltos Lankos), the Netherlands (Cargo), Norway (Aschehoug) and Slovenia (Plus), while multi-party auctions are still underway for Italian, Polish, Czech Republic and Estonian rights. Wahlström & Widstrand will publish the title in Sweden at the end of March.

Tross said: "I read In the Mire overnight and loved it – it’s such a creepy, atmospheric read. I made my first offer on Friday, found Astri at the fair on Tuesday to enthuse in person and pass on all the great reactions from my colleagues, and am thrilled to close the book fair with this deal. In The Mire has the perfect combination of character, tension and chills and I know readers here will love it – just like readers the world over."

Ahlander added: "I am thrilled that Susanne Jansson has found a home at Hodder, where In the Mire is in fantastic hands with Ruth Tross. Ruth immediately recognised the explosive potential of this atmospheric and eerie suspense novel and we have high hopes for its publication in the UK."

In the Mire caps off a week of action at the London Book Fair in which Sphere brought home domestic suspense novel The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy from Jenny Meyer - a book that sold US rights for seven figures and has already landed a film deal with TriStar - as well as “high-concept” thriller The Killer You Know by S R Mastrantone, from Joanna Swainson at Hardman & Swainson. 

Simon & Schuster acquired Something in the Water by actor Catherine Steadman, from Camilla Wray of Darley Anderson, a book about a “perfect couple” honeymooning in Tahiti who find themselves conflicted when they find a bag full of money. 

UK rights for another Swedish debut, In My Blood by Elisabeth Norebäck - generating high levels of interest following 10 international deals ahead of the fair - are still up for grabs.

In historical fiction, Bloomsbury’s Raven Books acquired two books in a new Victorian-set series, featuring a transgender central character, by debut author, Alex Reeve, from Carrie Plitt at Felicity Bryan.

Memoirs also did strong business, with Cape securing Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker's book in a six-figure midnight deal, and Faber signing a memoir from Goldie, not long after Little, Brown bought Suede lead singer Brett Anderson's memoir Coal Black Mornings. Bonnier Publishing meanwhile revealed it would be publishing the memoir of Jamie Bulger's mother, Denise Fergus, with Blink next year: I Let Him Go will be his mother’s "heart-breaking account" of the day her son was abducted and "the living nightmare that followed", according to Blink.

In further non-fiction, Profile acquired rights to How Democracy Ends by Cambridge University professor of politics David Runciman from Peter Straus at RCW. HarperNonFiction acquired Unconquerable: The Invictus Spirit, stories of the participants of the international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women founded by Prince Harry, from Dominic Reid, m.d. of the Invictus Games Foundation. Meanwhile Obama’s right-hand man Alan Krueger signed a book Rockonomics, which uses the music industry to explain “the dismal science of economics”, which was pre-empted by John Murray Press m.d. Nick Davies from Gordon Wise at Curtis Brown.

Next year's London Book Fair will take place 10th - 12th April.