Mulholland Books is publishing two books by Elodie Harper, a journalist and prize-winning short story writer.
First in the deal and Harper's debut The Binding Song is an "unnerving read" set inside a prison in a remote area of Norfolk which has seen a string of suicides. The book's protagonist, Janet Palmer, a newly appointed psychologist, arrives to find hostile staff, rumours of a "woman in white" stalking the halls, and an ever-present threat of violence. "HMP Halvergate is haunted by something – but it may be something worse than ghosts," continues the book's pitch.
Senior Mulholland editor Ruth Tross acquired British commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Juliet Mushens at the United Talent Agency.
Tross said: "The Binding Song is a completely unnerving read that lingers long in the mind and Janet is a fascinating character, struggling to stay rational in the brilliantly creepy world she’s arrived in. Elodie is an incredibly talented writer and I can’t wait to share the novel with readers."
Harper has worked as a journalist for the past 10 years, making original news reports for TV and documentaries for BBC radio. She is currently a reporter and presenter at ITV News Anglia, and before that she worked as a producer at Channel 4 News. Her short story "Wild Swimming" recently won the Bazaar of Bad Dreams story competition, run by Hodder & Stoughton and the Guardian and judged by Stephen King.
Mulholland will publish The Binding Song in hardback in spring 2017.