Quercus has pre-empted a psychological suspense novel about female rivalry and motherhood by debut author and Faber Academy graduate Charlotte Duckworth.
The Rival follows Ashley and Helena, a new employee and her manager, who are set up against one another in the workplace "with disturbing and devastating consequences".
Quercus fiction publisher Cassie Browne acquired world rights (all languages) from Caroline Hardman at Hardman & Swainson.
Browne said she anticipated the novel would start frank conversations about "how women can often be each other's worst enemies".
"I’ve been looking for a novel for a while that confronted the theme of female rivalry, and Charlotte Duckworth’s debut answers that but with so much more," said Browne. "With sharp characters and terrific pace this twisty suspense is your next addictive read, but it’s also a novel which will start honest conversations about the darker side of motherhood and how women can often be each other’s worst enemies. I tore through this book in one sitting and I cannot wait for others to read it."
Duckworth's agent, Hardman, added Duckworth was "a talent to watch".
Quercus Fiction will publish in September 2018 in hardback, export trade paperback, e-book and audio, with a mass-market paperback following in spring 2019.