Orion is publishing a Swedish bestseller that last summer won Specsavers Sweden's Crimetime Debut of the Year award: Annabelle by Lina Bengtsdotter.
The book sold over 50,000 copies in its native Sweden, where it was the bestselling debut of 2017, according to Orion. It will now be translated into English from the Swedish by Agnes Broome, following the deal struck by Ben Willis, senior commissioning editor for World English volume rights from Bonnier Rights Sweden, brokered by Markus Hoffmann at Regal Hoffmann & Associates LLC.
Annabelle is described as being "reminiscent of the intricately woven thrillers of Tana French and Susie Steiner, with a heroine as brash and intense as Stella Gibson from 'The Fall'". Its plot begins after local police give up the search for a missing teenage girl and Detective Inspector Charlie Lager is sent to the small provincial town to investigate. What her superiors don’t know is that Charlie grew up in that very town, and has a few dark secrets of her own.
Orion Fiction will publish in export and home trade paperback in December 2018, and in mass market paperback in autumn 2019.
With rights having sold in 14 international territories to date, Willis, the book's editor, predicted its publication would be "a truly global publishing event".
"Annabelle has taken Europe by storm, and, with 14 territories publishing this year and next, this is going to be a truly global publishing event," he said. "Lina’s writing is top drawer, with brilliantly drawn characters and a truly original, wildcard detective in Charlie Lager."
Lina Bengtsdotter, the book's author, said: "I hope readers in UK will like Charlie Lager and her special way as much as I did when I created her. Charlie’s voice is like an echo of some very special female relatives of mine so it doesn ́t actually feel like I made her up. Writing Annabelle has been both a pleasant and a frightening trip back to the little village in Sweden were I grew up, and it means so much to me that the characters and the environment will reach readers all over the world in the English language with Orion."