Transworld is publishing psychological thriller The House Swap, and another as-yet-untitled novel, by Rebecca Fleet.
Frankie Gray, publishing director for commercial fiction at Transworld, pre-empted world English Language rights including audio from Caroline Wood at the Felicity Bryan Associates. It will publish The House Swap in hardback in May 2018.
The book's story begins as a couple, Caroline and Francis, arrive at their new home for the week, a house swap they've organised in a bid to repair their marriage, still reeling from Caroline's affair with a colleague. The house is "stark, pared back and almost sinister in its emptiness", but slowly Caroline begins to uncover signs of life - signs that suggest the person they have swapped with is someone she used to know and had hoped to forget.
Gray said the book lived up to the expectations raised by its premise as "creepy, compelling and suspenseful" and, moreover, pushed the boundaries to evolve the psychological thriller through its exploration of a betrayal and its aftermath.
"How rare and special it is to find a book that excites you with its mere premise, and then lives up to the weight of that expectation in its delivery," said Gray. "The House Swap is one such book. It’s creepy, compelling and suspenseful but it’s much more besides, with raw emotion and believable, complex relationships the like of which I haven’t seen for some time. Rebecca shifts the parameters of the psychological thriller, from the well-trodden ground of doubt and suspicion within a relationship, to the realities of the aftermath of a betrayal if you yourself are the guilty party. We’re so excited to take this original and extraordinary book confidently to market as a satisfying evolution of the genre, and launch a standout new voice with all the focus and dedication she deserves."
Transworld’s Helen Edwards sold US rights to Pam Dorman Books (Penguin Random House) and Canadian rights to Doubleday. Rights have been sold in pre-empts or auctions in Germany (Goldmann), Italy (Longanesi), Spain (Penguin Random House), France (Robert Laffont), Catalan (Penguin Random House). Auctions are ongoing in Denmark and Poland.
Fleet, the book's author, said: "I am absolutely delighted that Transworld will be publishing The House Swap. Right from the start it was evident to me that Frankie, and indeed the whole team, genuinely loved and understood the novel - and I know it couldn't be in better hands. I can't wait to embark on the journey with them."