Pan Macmillan has acquired two novels in a debut crime series by journalist Michelle Davies in a three-way auction.
Editor Catherine Richards bought UK and Commonwealth rights for the novels from Jane Gregory.
The first, Gone Astray, follows Lesley Kinnock and her husband Mack, who win £12m on the lottery. They move with their 15-year-old daughter to an exclusive gated community, and one day Lesley returns home to find her Rosie missing.
DC Maggie Neville is assigned to be Family Liaison Officer to Lesley and Mack. The police officer has a point to prove, as she was suspended from the last case she worked on, and she has her own, complicated family to deal with.
Richards said: “I’ve been looking for a new series detective and Michelle’s book grabbed me immediately with its freshness, vivid characters and clever plotting. Gone Astray is as much about a family’s bonds and the trust we put in each other as it is a gripping investigation. It explores what can happen to a family when their wildest dream comes true – only to turn into their worst nightmare.”
Davies has been writing professionally for 20 years as a journalist on magazines, including on the production desk at Elle, and as features editor of Heat. Before going freelance, she was editor-at-large at Grazia magazine.
Pan Macmillan will publish Gone Astray in hardback and e-book in March 2016, followed by a paperback in the autumn. The second novel will be published in 2017.