Orion Fiction has acquired a psychological suspense debut at auction with "the mother of all high-concept twists".
Harriet Bourton, publisher at Orion Fiction, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights for The Dream Wife by debut author Louisa de Lange in a two-book deal struck by Ed Wilson at Johnson & Alcock Agency.
Bourton called the novel "emotionally hard-hitting" full of "original twists, gripping tension and a relatable human story". Publishing in October, the novel follows Annie, mother to two-year-old Johnny and wife to David, who is everything her husband expects her to be. Supportive, respectful and mild: the perfect wife, and a prisoner in her own home where her finances, her routine, and everything in her life is controlled. Only her love for her little boy keeps her sane, and at night she escapes into a dream world where she is free. But now, she has found a way out – and you won’t believe what she is going to do, or how she is going to do it…
Orion Fiction also acquired rights to a second book from the author, Double Take, billed as a darkly suspenseful story about identical twin sisters - the irrevocable betrayals between them, where it can be hard to tell who is who, or right from wrong.
Agent Ed Wilson said The Dream Wife was a book that was moving the genre of psychological suspense forwards. "The buzz at LBF was that the market is moving on from straightforward psychological suspense, and The Dream Wife is anything but straightforward," he said. "A stunning book that marries nail-biting tension with the mother of all high-concept twists. Louisa is the kind of author every agent dreams of finding in their slush pile: a truly original and dynamic talent. We've found the ideal home with Harriet and Orion."
De Lange, whose background is in HR, said: "I grew up surrounded by books, always with an idea in my head, and a notebook in my hand. I could only dream that it would be possible to keep writing as an adult. Annie’s voice was always very clear to me and I loved putting her story down on the page; I am honoured it will be published by Orion, under the team’s skilful leadership."
The Dream Wife will be published by Orion Fiction in October 2018 paperback, e-book and audio.