Quercus and Flatiron have bought Romy Hausmann’s debut thriller Dear Child, which has shifted over 175,000 copies in Germany and been sold in 12 territories.
Stef Bierwerth, publisher at Quercus, bought world English language rights from the author’s original publisher DTV. US rights for the debut thriller have been sold at auction to Christine Kopprasch, executive editor at Flatiron. The deal was brokered by Rebecca Folland, rights director at Quercus.
Stef Bierwerth said: “As a thriller fan, I’m always looking for a plot and characters that genuinely surprise me and a voice that grabs me and doesn’t let go. Dear Child is one of those rare suspense novels that really delivers on all fronts. Jamie Bulloch’s superb translation is the icing on the cake and Dear Child has all the ingredients of a mega bestseller. We’re extremely happy to welcome Romy, one of Europe’s hottest new talents, to our list and to be teaming up with Christine and her colleagues at Flatiron in the US. Together we’re set to make this the breakout thriller of 2020.”
The book, out in May 2020, is positioned as a mix between Room and Gone Girl, has been dubbed as “the thriller that begins where others end”.
Its synopsis explains: “A windowless shack in the woods. Lena’s life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father: meals, bathroom visits and study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world and he makes sure that his children will always have a mother to look after them.
“One day Lena manages to flee – but the nightmare continues. It seems as if her tormentor wants to get back what belongs to him. And then there is the question of whether she really is the woman called ‘Lena’, who disappeared without a trace over thirteen years ago. The police and Lena’s family are all desperately trying to piece together a puzzle that doesn’t quite seem to fit.”
Film rights have been optioned by Constantin Film – the company behind movies like “Downfall”. Translation rights have already sold in 12 territories, including France, Italy, Spain, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands.