Orion has scooped a debut thriller by G S Locke, about a Birmingham detective and hitwoman tracking down a serial killer.
Ben Willis, senior commissioning editor, acquired world all language rights to Neon from Broo Doherty at DHH Literary Agency. It will be published by Orion Fiction in spring 2020.
The book follows “desperate detective” Matt Jackson and hitwoman Iris as they try to find the murderer who killed Jackson’s wife. The synopsis explains: “But the killer, dubbed ‘Neon’ for the way he displays his victims among elaborate, snaking neon light installations, is also on the hunt – and has both Jackson and Iris in his sights.”
Locke, the pseudonym for a Birmingham based crime writer, said: “For some time, I’ve had this powerful image in my head of a desolate detective sitting alone in a café, picking up the phone and ordering his own murder after his wife is killed by a serial killer. With that, DCI Jackson was born, and with him, Iris, a contract killer who I hope is as fierce and unrelenting a character as Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander and Killing Eve’s Villanelle. What follows is a story of survival, revenge, an unorthodox investigative partnership, and a serial killer with a particular fondness for neon art.”
Willis added: “Neon is everything I love about a proper serial killer thriller – but it’s also so much more. It’s got twists and turns aplenty but, most importantly, at its heart are two brilliant characters with a unique dynamic that will both thrill and surprise fans of the genre. A kind of literary mash-up of "Luther", The Snowman by Jo Nesbo and No Country For Old Men, Neon is set to light up the British crime fiction scene in 2020.”